Fox delays Hulu availability, piracy surges

Fox recently decided to delay the availability of its programs on Hulu by eight days; TorrentFreak tracked the number of BitTorrent downloads of Fox's programming before and after the policy took effect, and, predictably, piracy surged when the legit channel degraded:
Over the last week TorrentFreak tracked two Fox shows on BitTorrent to see if there was an upturn in the number of downloads compared to the previous weeks, and the results are as expected. For both Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef the download numbers have surged.

During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S. For MasterChef; the extra high demand may in part have been facilitated by the fact that it was the season finale.

Aside from BitTorrent, there are of course many other options for people to catch up with a missed episode. YouTube for example, from where tens of thousands of people streamed the latest Hell’s Kitchen episode.

Fox’s 8-Day Delay on Hulu Triggers Piracy Surge



  1. Something that has always alluded me is the downfall of the set top DVR market.  It’s like they arrived 3 years too early or something.  I know I can build a HTPC setup, but with the surge in media play back boxes, why can’t someone just put an ATSC/NTSC/PAL tuner in it and call it a day.

    -Sure I know the whole technical problems with digital cable, premium content, cable card, ect..  But holy hell my wife and I still use a VCR (if that tells you how much I care about Hi-Def).  Why can’t I get a digital VCR…

    INB4 someone tells me to buy a Tivo…how about I don’t want to pay another monthly fee for the privilege to watch something at a later date.

    1. Greedy companies and dumb consumers that will pay an extra monthly charge for crap that would be easy to accomplish with a change in a setting. See also: cell phones.

      1. Don’t disagree with that at all.

        But it’s not like I can have a cell phone and plan with Verizon and then go get a data plan from Sprint (or someone else)…. 

    2. Although you don’t seem keen on Tivo, it is worth pointing out that lifetime subscriptions exist – so if you think you’re gong to watch TV for more than 2 years, it becomes free. I haven’t paid a thing for my Tivo in years now.

      Sadly they’re not as hackable as they were in the Series2 days, but they still work well for the intended purpose of building up hundreds of hours of programming you’re never going to watch anyway. ;-)

    3. I loved my DVR that I used to have with comcast when they first came out and they were pushing them so they didn’t charge 35 dollars per tv to have them hooked up. Then I moved and had to contemplate paying that much for a DVR (TV without a DVR seems incredibly dumb as I never watch it when it airs) Hulu had just came on the scene so I canceled my cable subscription. Had the cable company not gotten greedy with the fees for DVR boxes I probably would still be a subscriber, but they wanted more, so I cut the cord and they got nothing.

    4. I had a really nice phillips model but it was rare and hard to find.  $300 canadian got me a 30 gig hard drive with a vcr type menu including the different tape speeds lol, plus tuners that worked amazingly well with both old fashioned and new HD over the air signals (I refuse to pay cable).  Best part was the built in dvd burner if I wanted to keep anything.

      only problems were that the software side of things made it look like it was hacked together and the damn thing did eventually short out its power supply and brown out my house for a second or two.

      still though, I did refer to that thing as the god box. sad to see it go.

      products like that are badgered into not existing by the major media conglomerates though in the same vain as good graphics cards for media playback over PCs have been gimped forever.

    5. Likely because content is coded, and its damn hard to get a DVR that is not part of the provider “package”. And provider DVRs basically stink.

    6. Get a DTV Pal DVR (no longer made) and Channel Master CM-7000PAL HD DVR (same design as DTV Pal DVR). It has dual HD tuners, TV guide (up to a week), no subscription, etc. However, this is for over the air (OTA) only, so no cable and satellite. :(

  2. See, if you don’t give people the free shit they demand they’ll just take it.

    The worst aspect of Hulu (at least Hulu+) is the commercials. They’re almost always horrible, in heavy rotation, and you can’t FF through them. Somehow advertisers aren’t keen to the format yet.

    1. Once upon a time they had TV shows worth watching, but for some reason they decided to cancel all of those.

    1. What will we, as a country, do then? Become politically active, start solving problems, and spend more time with our family and friends?

    2. Congratulations on not liking any television entertainment.  Personally, I have found some televison programs that I like to watch for my entertainment, and some of it is aired on Fox.  That I like any television is obviously a deep character flaw of mine, and most likely indicates that I am some sort of  brainless, spineless, cartoonish automaton.

      1. That I like any television is obviously a deep character flaw of mine,
        and most likely indicates that I am some sort of  brainless, spineless,
        cartoonish automaton.

        I briefly saw some television programming the other night, and I do hope the doctors can help you with the consequences of long term exposure that you report.

  3. You can use a Tivo as a “digital VCR” without paying a monthly fee. In the Tivo interface there is the option to manually set up onetime and recurrent recordings, just like a VCR. So hie thee to eBay!

    1. Everything I’ve found indicates only certain models of Series 1 Tivo are capable of that.

      Some Series 2 units can operate that way under certain circumstances, but by default most require a subscription.

  4. Yet more proof that when companies offer timely legetimate options, there are fewer reasons to pirate. Try taking the se options away, or delaying rollout. Piracy surges.

    When will they listen to what the world is screaming?

    1. Yes, the old model of corporation’s “watch my damn shows when I tell you” is dead. I would have thought this to be quite obvious by now, even to fox, nbc, abc, etc…

      Media should be on demand; if I want to watch local news, than damn it I want local news, now. If I want to hear about the latest in the lybian rebellion, then thats what I want, not how fat some celebs ass is, or how many drinks some other celeb has had. And if I want to watch the latest episode of hell’s kitchten all day on constant loop I should be able to do so.

  5. Hulu doesn’t pay the networks who pay the content creators the same as advertising who pay the networks for broadcast commercial time.  Hence to not piss off the advertisers who actually pay the networks who pay the content creators they put in these delays.  If Hulu could get more money from their advertising to then pay the networks for the content then there would be less hoops for consumers.

  6. I know a dude who works at Hulu, and he said his desk is near the boiler-room type area where they make the network negotiations. There’s like a dozen people who are on the phone all day long trying to work this stuff out, and just totally losing their minds in the process.  Apparently there is a lot of yelling/cursing that comes out of that room because getting the networks to agree to anything is next to impossible.

  7. and because they are delaying Hulu they have to delay their own stuff as well. Used to be able to watch shows on the day after it aired but now you have to wait the 8 days.

  8. RUPERT: Pirates are screwing with our profits with this intertube thing
    PLEB: Hulu is quite popular with subscribers
    RUPERT: Close all the Hooloos!!!11!!
    PLEB: But Sir how will that help?
    RUPERT: FUCK YOU! that’s how! 

  9. I just waited the extra 8 days.  All it means to me is one skipped week.  Now, all the Fox shows I watch will continue to come out on a weekly basis.  I’ll be one week behind everyone else, but that means little to me (House was like this for as long as I remember).  Except Fringe.  It’ll be difficult talking about it with my friend if he’s caught up and I’m not.

    I’m actually not upset about the missing week because The Daily Show and Colbert Report are off the next two weeks, so I have the time this week to watch Ramsey’s shows.

  10. I think TV networks should release torrents of the shows with commercials still in there. Most people wouldn’t bother to search for the edited ones without commercials taken out.  Sure we could just fast forward, but we could do that with a DVR too and those are okay.

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