Killing ‘Killing Eve’
Broadcasters are still learning the best way to navigate the modern world of content distribution, and its fans of their biggest shows that sometimes lose out.
Season 2 of hit thriller Killing Eve kicked off on Sunday in the US. But in the UK, we have no idea when we’ll get to see this BBC show. If that sounds confusing, it’s because BBC America and AMC fund Killing Eve, meaning they have first-run rights.
Fair enough, but as news reports say
, the reason the BBC in the UK is holding off running the show, say, the next day, is because they think fans will want to binge it all in one go. That means we’ve got to wait until after the last episode has aired in the US, some time in the summer.
Bingeing (not 'binging’ please, that’s searching for something on Microsoft’s search engine) on TV shows is a fun way to watch them – if they’re available worldwide simultaneously. If Netflix drops a new season of Black Mirror worldwide in one go, you can watch at your own pace whenever you like, wherever you are and if you catch any spoilers along the way, it’s your own responsibility.
But in the case of Killing Eve season 2, bingeing makes no sense at all in the UK. The first season hadn’t really picked up a UK audience when it launched, so making them all available in one go after the US was fine. But now UK viewers want to keep up and avoid spoilers online.
It seems a wish to drive as much viewing through the BBC’s iPlayer app as possible, combined with a feeling that Netflix-style bingeing is a trend they have to keep up with, led the BBC to completely ignore how fans of shows like Killing Eve consume such shows. They like to talk about them online as part of global communities, and you can’t do that if you haven’t seen them yet and don’t know when you will.
I’m sure torrent sites are already doing healthy traffic with the opening episode of Killing Eve season 2, and that could have been avoided.
And besides all this, watching a show week-to-week is fun sometimes. Knowing you have to wait seven days for the resolution of a cliffhanger the old fashioned way can be enjoyable. So how about a change of heart, BBC?