Survivor: Technology Edition

Survivor is my one reality show addiction — I've been watching since its inception back in 2000 and 17 seasons later I'm still hooked. It's like comfort food, you know what you're going to get.

The PVR has been a great boon in allowing me to keep up with the show — I just set it and forget it, watching when I have time. Such was the case this past weekend when the season finale of Survivor: Gabon aired on Sunday. Except it got delayed by a football game and the recording is tied to the time slot and not to the program itself (why, I have no idea), so we missed half of the show.

Sigh. OK, we figured, we'll just watch it on demand. Rogers has been promoting that, so we'll pony up the $0.99 and get our fix. Ooop, after 24 hours, its still not available.

Sigh. OK, we'll go to the Survivor site and watch a grainy, streaming video version. Oh, wait, CBS is blocking Canadians from viewing any of their videos. Fine, off to Global, Survivor's simulcasting partner in Canada. Hmm, they don't even have the episode, just a promo video.

Sigh. OK, off to Hulu, surely they will have it online. Oh, wait, it's another site that geo-blocks Canadians. What are we, terrorists? Let's work this out, networks! When you sell a show to a foreign broadcaster, don't make the online rights a separate deal — insist on bundling them together. And if you can block Canadians, surely you can tag them so you only serve up Canadian advertising.

Sigh. OK, it looks like Rogers has gotten it together add added the finale to the on demand lineup, but oh no, the service is down and it won't play.

Sigh. Finally, it plays and we watch the finale 72-hours later, which is a letdown as I'd already seen who the winner was all over the interweb about 70-hours earlier.

I'll concede that a few years ago of you missed an episode, you we're mostly out of luck unless a friend had taped and saved it, so things have improved, but it seems the networks still have a ways to go before TV is truly personal.


  1. CBS is blocking Canadians from watching videos?! That sucks. What ever happened to being good neighbours?

  2. Exactly! And it's not like every CBS show doesn't already air here.