Been wondering why The Walking Dead - and every other show on the FOX channel - isn't on DStv Catch Up? If so, wonder no more, because I have the answer.
I've drawn my own conclusions because neither DStv nor FOX have clarified the reason. As you'll have noticed, none of the headline-making FOX shows are available on Catch Up. Walking Dead, Empire and The Strain are all missing. Walking Dead and Empire are two of the most popular shows in America right now so the fact that they aren't on Catch Up comes across as a huge oversight on DStv's part.
What's the reason for it? Why isn't Walking Dead on Catch Up? TVSA posed the question to both MultiChoice and FOX (FIC) and each of them gave us these comments:
FOX: "FIC is keen on having its content on the Catch Up platform on DStv and are working with MultiChoice in this regard to have this available for fans of our shows.”
MultiChoice: “We are keen on having FIC shows on DStv Catch Up - we’re currently working with FIC to bring some of their key titles, like Walking Dead, to our DStv Catch Up service.”
As you can see, they don't answer the question. But one can read between the lines. Make assumptions and speculate. If they're both so keen why hasn't it happened?
I've been searching for answers and found a third statement on the matter - from a MultiChoice representative on the DStv forums
which gives a different perspective. Their take is that it's FOX who doesn't want to give the rights. This was posted last week (on 23 March):
It's not for lack of trying. Fox Channel doesn't grant us Catch Up rights for the content on their channel. It's why we also don't have Walking Dead and The Strain. That unfortunately is completely out of our hands - even if we wanted Empire for CU, Fox won't give it to us.
Putting all this together one can only conclude that there must be a financial issue that's cropped up between them that they're unable to resolve. I reckon it involves the rights of the shows and where they air i.e. whether the rights include Catch Up or not.
Some shows come with licenses for Catch Up
and others don't so there must be a problem surrounding this - could be it costs too much to buy the shows with the additional rights. If this is the case, it suggests DStv doesn't want to pay extra for FOX shows.
Alternatively FOX doesn't want to pay to be on Catch Up if there's a fee involved. I don't know if there is but if there is, this is a likely situation too.
The conversation on the DStv forums talks about the issue of payment. A subscriber asked about The Walking Dead box sets that were on Catch Up in December last year and the MultiChoice moderator replied:
This was a once-off "special event" that was paid for as a Box Set. We never and will probably never get regular Catch Up rights... There are syndicated shows produced by Fox that are available to us on Catch Up as part of deals signed for broadcast on M-Net. But content ON the Fox Channel falls outside of these syndication agreements and needs to be licensed separately by the channel operator. In this case, Fox won't give us rights.
So that's it. Both MultiChoice and FOX say they want the shows on Catch Up but they haven't made it happen and the DStv forums say it'll probably never happen. All one can conclude is that there are Big, problematic issues surrounding rights between them.