Friday, October 09, 2009

Watching Geo Restricted TV

A recent email from a former client who has moved to New Zealand bemoaned that he couldn't watch any decent TV. I pointed out geospoofing and it seems that his life is now transformed (why would you want to watch telly if you lived in New Zealand with plenty of rugby, all those views and that outdoor life?).

Anyhow, digging a bit further it's apparent that geospoofing is becoming a mainstream business with Slingbox hosting now being provided by certain ISPs - for a cost. Where there's will there's a way...

Of course, using an IP address to locate a person is, at best, hit and miss. My better half works for a major US search engine company (yes, that one..) here in the UK and we could happily access US restricted sites from her laptop should we choose to do so (cough..).

The major drivers for georestricting content are rights dealss and ad budgets, which are both largely set territorially. Global advertisers would be wise to reserve more of their campaigns for international campaigns and controlling rights across borders is going to become increasingly difficult.

A certain amount of 'spillage' has always been accepted - up to a few million people watch Sky channels outside the UK - but the ability to restrict, or even to target content more accurately on a geographic basis is a real holy grail for the online delivery of media.