BBC Blocking Basic Web Content For Overseas Visitors

I’m a big fan of the BBC show Spooks. A&E aired? airs? it in the US as MI-5 but it was always a cut-down chopped-up version made to fit in US timeslots, so I’ve never really watched it that way.
For me, I wait until a given season is available on DVD in the UK, and then buy the DVD set, and import it into the US so I can watch it then. Historically, how this is worked is that I see on the BBC web site (here) that there’s a new season in the works, and then I start looking at UK DVD retailers a few months later to see if there’s a release date for the DVD set.
Having just received my Season 6 DVDs a few days ago, I decided to check in on Season 7. After all, by the time one season makes it to DVD, the next season is usually in production. That rule seems to apply the same both here and in the UK.
However, when I go to the BBC homepage for spooks, I’m instead redirected to, which tells me:


I feel like the Weekend Update folks from SNL. I just want to babble “SERIOUSLY?!!?” over and over at them. They have decided that I, as a non-UK citizen, aren’t even allowed to know about the show. No, if I want information about Spooks, I’ve got to hope Wikipedia and the DVD retailers can keep me up to date.
It’s not as though this is something based on them having sold the rights to a US broadcaster, because the Doctor Who website is alive and well for non-UK viewers.
It really does boggle the mind how much the BBC just “doesn’t get it” when it comes to the web….
UPDATE: Dan Taylor from the BBC noted in the comments that they’ve fixed the problem. Well done and thanks!

4 thoughts on “BBC Blocking Basic Web Content For Overseas Visitors

  1. They’ve done this before with shows like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. I think it is not so much “not getting” the web, as producing sites that rely heavily on unfolding episodic video content that they don’t have the rights to stream over the web outside the UK.

  2. For my part, I would call that “not getting the web”. The web is an international medium that – more or less – defies international borders with ease. Why create your site in such a fashion that you CAN’T take advantage of that?

  3. Hi Dredd,
    This was an oversight which now been corrected (It was a hangover from when /spooks/ used to house a game and the programme site lived at /drama/spooks/. We’ve now moved the programme site to /spooks/ in line with our other programme URLs).
    Apologies for any inconvenience.
    Dan Taylor (BBC)

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