Saturday, October 27, 2007

Americans Hate Canadians

I'm pretty steamed at the moment. I don't know how else to explain this but to say that Americans hate their brothers and sisters to the North. Are you guys jealous of our health care system or something? What is it??

If you try and access TV show episodes like The Office, you get messages like this: "We're sorry, but the clip you requested is not available from your location". I'm sorry, what?! I have a job that depends on this (refer to my last post). I thought, "OK, maybe this is coincidence" but then I just read in national Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, that Comedy Central did the same thing with the Daily Show. Websites can detect which country you're coming from based on your IP address and block you. I guess I shouldn't complain that much as it's not like it is in China, but come on!

It turns out that Americans don't hate Canadians (well, some may). The reason that Canadians are blocked is because Global TV and other Canadian TV networks have paid a pretty penny to re-broadcast these shows in Canada and don't want Canadians to access these shows for free on the net. Therefore, Global is really to blame here but here's the reality:

  • Canadians don't care who is blocking the videos, they are being blocked. We live in a free country up here and we don't look highly on being restricted in our web browsing (especially on US web sites!!)

  • The brand of these TV shows and US networks suffer - not the Canadian networks. I think that this is grossly underestimated. Negativity is very powerful these days as bloggers can write up how dissatisfied they are very easily via blogs. :)

  • Why not add a comment that tells me the reason I can't watch the video? I guess that would get Global in trouble. It looks like that the problem was rectified by the Daily Show as it now redirects you to a Canadian network called the Comedy Network. They learned their lesson - why hasn't The Office (notice how I blamed the show and not NBC - I actually am holding Steve Carrel responsible as he runs the office).
Don't set the expectation of placing videos on the net and then make them impossible to reach because of the country you live in. This is a web 2.0 no no - especially when video is so easily accessible via YouTube and other channels. While the web can be used to virally promote your product/service or TV show, it can just as easily destroy it.

Chad H.

PS - Question for the Global TV people - why do you have other videos on your site and not The Office? Please let me know.
PPS - Hey Global TV: ET Canada really sucks.


Anonymous said...

right on chad. we also got locked out of pandora, but i found a replacement: awesome!


Chad said...

Thanks Egon. is a cool site - thanks for the tip!

Jeff Nolan said...


I agree this is a very frustrating issue, I am a hockey loving American and tried to watch the World Junior Tournament last December from the TSN website and it wouldn't let me coming from an American IP address. Minnesota seems to be the only state that cares...


Chad said...

Thanks for your comment Jeff - interesting that Canadian networks do the same to Americans.
PS - we'll kick your hockey buts this year as well. :)

Anonymous said...

cnn is now available live in Canada



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