The biggest gripe Australian TV and film consumers have had since bloody forever has been the delayed and staggered release schedule for new releases between the US/UK/literally everywhere else and here.

It’s one of (if not the) key factors that pushed Australia to become the largest single pirater of shows like ‘Game of Thrones,’ for example. The limited availability, or restrictive exclusivity of the product, preventing people from paying a fair price to access that thing they want.

Ever since we got an “official” version of Netflix, those calls have been dampened pretty significantly; turns out that people will actually pay for things when you let them do so, who would’ve thought.

But because nothing gold can stay and we are apparently destined to never have nice things, etc, this sudden influx of new, legal content is proving to be a massive headache for our apparently thunderously under-resourced Classifications Board, and to that end Netflix Australia has warned that they might have to start delaying new shows in Australia because the board simply cannot keep up.

The problem, as it stands, is that Netflix’s barrage of content includes a laundry list of titles that haven’t been aired in Australia previously, and thus require Australian classification.

Broadcasters, like local free-to-air or cable channels, are the biggest distributors of new content in the country, and produce more than the board is capable of handling. So instead, they employ in-house content assessors that self-classify programs according to Australian standards.

Under current broadcasting laws, there is no provision for Streaming Video on Demand companies like Netflix to employ similar self-assessors, and thus all SVOD content has to go through the regular Government-backed classification process, which is buckling under the avalanche of new content.

Netflix’s global public policy manager Josh Korn explains it all thusly:

“Netflix adds thousands of hours to its Australian catalogue each month. Many of these titles, including Netflix original content, have never been shown in Australia and need to be given an Australian classification and labelled with appropriate consumer advisories.”

“As Netflix increases its investments in content, more and more titles will need to be given an Australian classification. However, there are significant obstacles associated with classifying large volumes of content. Processing delays could result in content being premiered later in Australia than in other Netflix markets.”

“There is currently no capacity for SVOD providers to self-classify the content supplied to their customers. Classification costs for the SVOD industry will continue to increase as the range of online content choices for Australian consumers continues to expand.”

The Government is currently drafting a proposal that would see all classification work folded under the banner of the Australian Communications and Media Authority; a proposal that is being backed by Netflix and other SVOD companies. But the Classifications Board is resisting that call, arguing that ACMA assessors don’t possess the skills required to assume full control of classification duties.

It’s obviously hard to see Netflix actually delaying content coming in to Australia; these sorts of things tend to be idle threats more than anything.

Though while Government officials and the industry at large go back-and-forth on this whole rigamarole, the only people who will ultimately suffer will be Australian consumers.

But hey! Who knows! Maybe this whole thing will be sorted out in double-time and will lead us to a whole new world of hot, legal content.

*clears throat*

STRANGER THINGS have happened.

Netflix Might Delay Shows For Aussie Users Because The Gov Can’t Keep Up

Source: IT News.