/* ----------------------------------------------- Comment out annoying Snap... ----------------------------------------------- */

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

UK Political Internet TV

18 Doughty Street went live tonight and I was pretty impressed: the quality was good, the content was interesting and only a few cock-ups occurred. The plan is to broadcast political commentary live 4 hours a night Monday to Thursday. Since the programme is on the internet, the beauty is that they do not have to play by the normal broadcast rulebook which allegedly is “fair & balanced”.

Interestingly, John Howard the long serving conservative prime minister of Australia had an hour session in which he revealed the importance of Talk Radio in Australia where Australian politicians of all ilk can circumnavigate the “filters of the opinionators” in the traditional media.

Personally, I’m hoping that the internet will be the battleground leading up to the next UK general election. However, I do see a major issue – decent speed broadband is needed for internet TV and this is rare in rural and working class homes – I tend to think these groups will be the key swing voters in the next election.

The channel will not just be broadcast – they are promising streaming of archives and even non-DRMed downloads for podcasting and it is supported by an interactive website. They are also trying to recruit 100 members of audience from outside London to produce documentaries. So there is a limited feature set of social networking elements to the service.

Stefan Shakespeare put up the money for channel. He is a founder of the YouGov polling company which moved market research into the internet era exploiting not only the cheapness of the medium, but also the speed and has just announced really improved results. Perhaps he might be backing another winner…