Fox’s Eight-Day Delays Lead to Huge Spike in Torrenting

Posted Aug 22, 2011

Fox has been sticking to its eight-day delay guns for a week now, and the company’s future already looks grim. As anyone with half a brain predicted, when faced with an eight-day delay to popular programming, consumers respond by getting their tv illegally. TorrentFreak reports a 114% increase in downloads for Hell’s Kitchen and a 189% increase in downloads for MasterChef, which had its season finale this week. The episodes used to be available next-day on Hulu, but Fox is now only giving Hulu Plus and Dish Network the next-day privileges.

Fox clearly hoped that the content delay would encourage viewers to either watch the programs live or shell out for Hulu Plus, and foolishly ignored the reality of online piracy of their shows. Some consumers went straight to torrents, while others flocked to youtube uploads of the shows. What Fox fails to realize is that some shows beg to be watched immediately, and very few people are willing to spend extra money on something that can be had for free. [GigaOM]