June 27, 2016
Dear CBC News Broadcasters,
I, like many of your viewers, often have CBC News on in the background as I’m focusing on other tasks. I think a lot of Canadians would agree that much of your material makes great background noise.
Last night marked the season six finale of Game of Thrones. Likely due to my divided attention, I must have missed the introduction of your guest and I hope I missed your announcement of “major spoiler alerts”. Either way, the segment went forward and the season finale of Game of Thrones was ruined for me. Admittedly, I’m furious about losing the surprise and emotional journey that this episode certainly would have brought me. What I’m more furious about is that you chose to broadcast a summary of arguably the biggest reveals and plot twists this show has ever had KNOWING how difficult this show is for Canadians to access legally.
See your May 22, 2016 news article titled “HBO hunts down Game of Thrones pirates but some Canadians say they have no choice” by Sophia Harris. [ http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/hbo-game-of-thrones-piracy-1.3592056 ] I am one of those Canadians. I legally stream most of my favourite television shows because my work and social schedules don’t cater to being able to watch live TV on a regular schedule. Netflix, Crave TV and Shomi are fantastic services and we watch 85% of our television shows using one of those services. We don’t see the value in paying for a large cable package AND HBO, which must be purchased for an additional $20/month with other channels we would never use. We would happily subscribe to a paid HBO streaming service if it was available in Canada, but it is not. Because the internet, people in public with no verbal filters and apparently the daytime news broadcast is likely to spoil the show, it isn’t reasonable to wait until the season is available on Blu ray or DVD, so we illegally download the episodes and watch them when we have time.
Game of Thrones is the most pirated television show in history. It is not because the number of people illegally downloading has increased significantly – it is because one of the most popular shows in history is incredibly difficult to access legally. The very least you, as Canadian Broadcasters, could have done was report on something about the show other than the plot points (and ENDINGS), such as the ratings, reviews with no spoilers, or even better – what steps are being taken to give Canadians more reasonable options to watch this show? I hope you receive more than one letter, negative review or social media lambasting regarding your poor choice on what was important to report on. I sincerely hope you won’t repeat this mistake with other groundbreaking, hard to access television shows.
A former viewer