Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"The Office" Extras - For Americans Only?

I am a big fan of the US version of the TV show "The Office". (disclaimer: I never watched the original UK version - I believe it when people tell me it is great. I have no opinion on which version is "better" - I just watch the US version.). So I was quite excited to hear that NBC was posting "Producer's Cuts" versions of some of the episodes, which included a bunch of content that simply didn't make it into the original broadcast episode for whatever reason. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed to see the following message when I actually went to view the video on NBC's "The Office" website:

Apparently, the video is only available to US residents and NBC uses your IP address or something to guess where you are accessing the site from. Now I am sure that there are plenty of reasons why NBC believes that restricting access is necessary - but this kind of thing just drives me crazy and flies in the face of Net Neutrality. So, I can watch the show on broadcast TV, but some extra content is unavailable just because of where I happen to live?! The sad part of the story is that this kind of approach doesn't even work - there are plenty of alternative means to find the content online.