Disney+ screws UK Doctor Who fans with global release strategy

The latest series Doctor Who will debut at midnight on iPlayer and globally on Disney+ In the United Kingdom. The first two-hour episodes begin on May 11, with a prime-time broadcast later that day on BBC One. Those who know how time zones work will have already guessed this Doctor Who will now be available to watch in the US on May 10 at 7pm ET and 4pm PT.

There are many sad things about living in the UK, one of which is that we are a day behind the US TV schedule. Shows like Buzzy Lost Before it was legally possible to watch here, the internet was frequently corrupted. To curb the rampant piracyas it shows Game of Thrones and Inheritance it was broadcast at 2 or 3 in the morning.

That way, avid viewers could DVR those broadcasts and watch them before they started to avoid spoiling. Because if you didn’t, you should be extremely careful while surfing the web. There were very few shows I didn’t spoil for me considering I was working on the internet all day.

So you can imagine I was terrified to learn this Doctor WhoOne of the crown jewels in the British television firmament is now to be treated in the same way. Given that the bulk of the series’ funding comes from the license fee paid by most TV owners in the UK, it’s hard not to be annoyed. It seems crazy to me that the global sim isn’t tied to the UK broadcast, rather than this obvious fix to ensure the US gets it first. Especially when the alternative is staying up until 2am on a Saturday morning.

(Yes, I know there is a precedent for this, Five doctors It aired on PBS two days before its UK broadcast and television movie aired twelve days ago on Fox. But that was in the pre-internet heyday, when you didn’t have every big moment from a show shared by its official social channels seconds after it aired.)

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