UKTV Play agenda

Bit of a funny update this week, as the true premiere of series XII has kind of ended up sneaking up on people due to the fact that it will once again have its episodes streamed on UKTV Play 7 days before broadcast. More excitingly, however, four new publicity photos have been added to the XII gallery and they all look lovely so do check those out. Let’s start off today’s update after the jump with a great picture of Chris Barrie’s face as a concession that I am incredibly excited about what is to come over the next weeks despite my moan about the nature of its broadcast…

Anyone who’s been on the site longer than 12 months will know what we think about this whole UKTV Play strategy so no complaints are going to be particularly fresh here. While it’s undoubtedly great for the service and UKTV in general I still feel like this is a move that actively does a disservice to a lot of fans. Fans that want to have a communal watching experience through social media. Fans who want their first viewing to be the best possible quality version of a heavily visual show. Fans who simply do not have the option to wait an extra week when every day of their lives is spent embroiled in Dwarf communities (and I am not just talking about G&T). UKTV Play is a clunky catch up service at best, it requires an account to use, does nothing to help out by keeping you logged in and the streaming quality remains SD (on the website, at least). From what I can see nothing tangible or user experience related has changed on the service over the last 12 months, and it will once again be the platform on which we will all first experience the new episodes of Red Dwarf.

Today’s TOS update is supposed to be an exciting reminder that we have less than ONE WEEK to go until we see new Red Dwarf but well over HALF of the update is a list of caveats and warnings about the platform on which the series is premiering. Remember when the Radio Times listings of The End, Kryten, Backwards, Camille, Holoshop, Psirens, Tikka to Ride, Back in the Red Part 1, Back to Earth Part 1 and Trojan gave us fair warning that if too many people watch it all at once things might fall over? No, neither do I. Remember when the BBC split the audience of their prestige sci-fi show between online and linear broadcast, with the former having to deal with unreliable streaming and inferior picture quality? No, neither do I. Remember the last time you had no single clue what time the new episode of your favourite show was going to be available? You get the idea…

Like I say, none of this is anything new. It’s just as frustrating for us this year as it was last year. The advantage we have, though, is that we’re well aware of the challenges we ran into during XI and we’re in the process of defining a better setup to help prevent another grueling and soul sapping schedule as we try to cater for two sets of fans. Ian’s hammering us all into shape and working out our plans and schedules as we speak so you’ll almost certainly know the exact air time of our next Live DwarfCast before you know the same information about the episode it will be covering. No matter which way you look at it, this all feels incredibly and unavoidably stupid.

45 Responses to UKTV Play agenda

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  1. Only a small thing, but I like the way the corridor lighting reflects in Kryten’s monitor there.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with the continued moans about how they’re doing it again! I want to wait for TV broadcast but don’t want to risk seeing spoilers in the meantime, and also I can’t wait! Think I’ll just take Thursday off work and wait patiently for it to appear at whatever random time they choose!?

  3. Kryten and Rimmer both look really good in these pics.

  4. Next Thursday?? :o box of mansize tissues at the ready, sirs.

  5. In my opinion Kryten is looking really chubby in his new pic, but that may just be the angle. Other than that, looks spectacular. Waiting a little under a week almost seems like too long.

  6. Isn’t that a celebrity disfigured? *squint*

  7. G&T Admin

    As ever, Fat Kryten is fucking hilarious given certain comments Robert Llewellyn made a few years ago.

  8. It’s just terrible that these days, I can just download/stream it as soon as it available, watching it anytime I want on a TV or even a phone, having it on catch-up to watch until….a few months later it available in HD on a DVD/Blu Ray…… Nope neither do I, it’s not like the old days of only 4 channels, and months between repeats every week

    Remember when you had to sit in front of the TV, waiting for it to start and if you wanted to watch it again press record on the VHS Recorder…. or worse if you were out, set a timer hoping that it would record the episode, and not cut off the end because BBC we’re running late, or it might have been cancelled for Football or Snooker… Making sure the cassette was in the right place (I won’t even go into trying to find the individual episode on a VHS 3 hour tape)… and if it was the last episode of the series would it all fit on one tape.

    You get the idea…. I’m just happy that the best Comedy Sci-Fi shows ever is still being made. :-)

  9. I just watched his apology video RE: fat comments but never actually watched the original video. It came up in my recommendations after watching some Carpools. The apology has more views than the original so I’m not alone.

  10. So happy that I’ll definitely get to see Cured on Britbox on October 12th then immediately listen to the Dwarfcast of course.

  11. G&T Admin

    You make some fair points, jayteeque, but none of those problems applied in 2012 when Red Dwarf X aired. That remains the peak Red Dwarf viewing experience for me – the perfect mix of the communal feeling you got when we did only have a few channels, with the modern bonuses provided by social media and online communities. I am massively in favour of on-demand services, but linear broadcasting has its advantages too. It’s not a case of one or the other, they should work in tandem. In Red Dwarf’s case, my feeling is that the on-demand strategy is detrimental to the linear broadcast.

    I think if the episodes went live on UKTV Play at the exact same time they aired on Dave, everyone would be happy.

  12. Why do they put it out a week early online anyway? I can’t see how it benefits them at all, surely there’s greater ad revenue in having people watching Dave than online?

  13. I think if the episodes went live on UKTV Play at the exact same time they aired on Dave, everyone would be happy

    I couldn’t agree more. It is one of the unfortunate side effects of modern TV viewing, along with Channels dumping entire series to be binged watched.

  14. I think if the episodes went live on UKTV Play at the exact same time they aired on Dave, everyone would be happy

    I couldn’t agree more. It is one of the unfortunate side effects of modern TV viewing, along with Channels dumping entire series to be binged watched.

    I think there are far more advantages to uploading whole seasons then drawbacks, especially if it is put up during the summer.
    If it’s a service original, everyone still sees it at the same time and you don’t have to wait between episodes. You could still wait a week between episodes. Just only watch it on a specific day. I see where you’re coming from, though.

    Sorry, I know this is off-topic. I’ll open a forum topic on it in a bit.

  15. https://shop.reddwarf.co.uk/products/skutter-manual-style-t-shirt-navy

    Lovely new Skutter shirt though. And hopefully this will help people to FINALLY learn to fucking spell it with a K instead of a C, because I’ve always seen it wrong more often than right.

    I’m now wondering how much to blame the Robot Wars contestant Scutter’s Revenge was to blame for this.

  16. Sorry, I know this is off-topic. I’ll open a forum topic on it in a bit.

    I think it’s really important that every topic on this website stay on the rails. Quit messing up our threads.

  17. >Why do they put it out a week early online anyway?
    To get people to watch it (at least) twice, maybe. Once on demand and then once when it airs.

  18. Also to draw people’s attentions to the fact that their on-demand service does, actually, exist

  19. Why do they put it out a week early online anyway? I can’t see how it benefits them at all, surely there’s greater ad revenue in having people watching Dave than online?

    I don’t know anything about the model but there is the advantage to advertisers on the on-demand platform that there is no ability to skip the ads – unlike live TV where you can record and then fast-forward through them. But then a (presumably) smaller audience base may well counteract that.

    Also, as Ben says, many people who watch on-demand a week in advance will also go on to watch the normal broadcast, in a way that they possibly wouldn’t do in reverse.

  20. If it somehow generates more money for UKTV, then I guess it increases the chances of them financing more series. Ever hear of that physiological experiment they do with kids where they get given a sweet and are told if they don’t eat that sweet they will get another sweet in ten minutes? And they of course all eat the first sweet. Yeah its like that with me trying to wait for it to air on TV…

  21. Something I have noticed which I might have already said – other than an episode 1 preview, GOLD’s ‘Story Of Only Fools And Horses’ documentary is *not* getting a week-in-advance Play premiere. So it can’t be a non-negotiable blanket policy for UKTV commissions.

  22. I think the saddest thing about having the online previews is that it makes the whole thing seem a bit anti-climactic. I’ve been looking forward to this series so much – perhaps more than any other series, as it’s the only one where I’ve seen an episode recorded. Now it’s a mere five days away, and… I feel I’m not quite as excited as I ought to be. Obviously there’s been a fantastic online build-up, but with nothing in the papers yet, no cast members popping up on TV/radio doing promotion, it doesn’t feel as if it’s really ‘happening’ yet.

    I wish I had the willpower to hold out for the TV broadcast, but listening to the live DwarfCasts and reading all the reactions on here are a big part of the fun for me these days.

  23. I’d really, really prefer to watch these gorgeously produced episodes in HD, but I’m way too excited to hold off for a week when brand new episodes of my favorite show are sitting there online.

    Not only do I have to watch them in SD the first time, really mediocre SD from whoever happens to rip the episode and upload it around. I remember last year, there was only one UKTV Play rip of Krysis available and it had horrible glitches where every minute or so the visuals would freeze and go out of sync with the audio temporarily. I actually missed Kryten’s body-spin due to a poorly timed skip, so obviously I was a little surprised when I saw it in the TV rip. “That wasn’t…that wasn’t there before…when did…?”

    I’d honestly be willing to throw a few hundred dollars at Dave for the privilege of legally watching these episodes in the United States as they air. I really would. New Red Dwarf is a supremely rare and exciting event for me, and I’d be more willing than any other show or movie to pay a stupid amount of money for good quality on my first viewing.

  24. Aren’t they on Britbox this year the same day as the UK tx? In HD?

  25. Aren’t they on Britbox this year the same day as the UK tx? In HD?

    I wish it was on the UKTV Play date, though.

  26. Well I’ll be damned. They are. I just saw somebody post about it on Facebook.

    I’m still watching the UKTV Play version. I said I’d be willing to pay money, but notice I didn’t say I _had_ money. I was just planning to have some extra scratch on hand when the Blu-Ray came along. I absolutely didn’t expect this to happen.

    Way to call me out, BritBox. I suppose next you’ll reveal I only ever donate to charity when I need an excuse to feel good about myself.

  27. I am as tight as an Italian waiter’s kecks but I have had Britbox for a few months now plus you can get a months free trial starting the 12th.

  28. I should also point out that I don’t know how to get UKTV play to work in the US and even if you told me I probably still wouldn’t know!

  29. Is that Robert Lewellyn in that mask?

  30. It’s called waiting for an mkv to show up on one of those websites that charges you money to download faster than dial-up speed. Or DailyMotion, one time. That was convenient.

  31. >Tunnel Bear.

    Myes. It is basically the Holly Hop Drive of VPNs.

  32. Do we know if it’s going to be on the Sky app this time around?

  33. Taskmaster is, so I don’t see any reason why RD wouldn’t.

  34. Cool. Cheers

  35. An on demand view on something like UKTVPlay will be worth roughly 7 to 10 times more than a single viewer to the tv broadcast, especially on web, that pretty much sums the whole reason up I suspect.

  36. A friend of mine writes for telly, and he says an ‘on demand view’ counts for fuck all. Give or take.
    That was Channel 4 though.
    Can anyone clear this reason up or are we all speculating?

  37. G&T Admin

    It depends what we’re measuring. On-demand views only count towards viewing figures *after* broadcast, so us watching in advance doesn’t count towards that. I suspect Chade was talking about financial worth, ie. ad revenue from the web platform. This is something that is more directly measurable than how much each viewer is worth in terms of TV advertising, which hard to quantify, but I’d need more data before I’d believe it’s “7 or 10 times more”.

    My supposition is that UKTV do this with Dwarf for marketing and platform-building purposes – the value for them is more to do with increasing registered users and promoting UKTV Play as a service, rather than being a direct revenue generator – but this is only speculation on my part.

  38. It is interesting to consider the age and gender of the viewer playing into how much a person is worth to advertisers. In general it is the younger market who are harder to reach.

    I don’t remember now as it was over a year ago but does the UKTV sign-up request your DOB and gender? If it does then UKTV may have a much more fixed idea of the demographics of viewers on this platform to show advertisers and in general you would think it is a younger demographic on an online platform primarily.

  39. They appear to have deleted users in the last year since XI, or at least inactive ones. I had a Dave login, which no longer worked and on trying to retrieve password was told the account didn’t exist. I still have the original sign-up email so I know it was right.

    So had to sign up again, and yes they do ask for DOB, gender and even postcode. I couldn’t be bothered with all that so used the facebook sign in … so now they know -everything-.

    Interestingly enough I had a bit of a browse around the site and there’s a few other shows I might watch on there, so I guess generating more traffic works. Although I use ad-block so no revenue from me!

  40. Young males (like me!) tend to just block advertisements altogether. Immoral, maybe, but a much better viewing experience. I buy DVDs books and merch anyway.

  41. Glad it’s not just me who had to create a new login despite having set one up last year.

  42. My supposition is that UKTV do this with Dwarf for marketing and platform-building purposes – the value for them is more to do with increasing registered users and promoting UKTV Play as a service, rather than being a direct revenue generator – but this is only speculation on my part.

    Well, they certainly got me to sign up. And then, once I finished watching Cured, I couldn’t be arsed with doing anything else, so I just left the VPN going and watched some Taskmaster. Whatever they’re pulling, it seems to have worked on me.

    Which made me wonder, if they ask for DOB, why do they also have you click one whole extra button to say you’re over 15?

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