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Old H&A Fan

Open letter to the Seven Network

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Dear Channel 7,

First of all, on behalf of all Australian fans of Home And Away: The Early Years, I would like to thank you for running the repeat series, and continuing the repeat run against the odds. We didn't think we'd get half way to where we are now, and for that, we would like to thank you. We hope that this success continues well into the future, as we really love watching these episodes and thank you for giving us the opportunity of seeing these episodes.

However, there are still questions that I would like answered, especially for UK fans who are denied access both to TV episodes (apart from limited screenings on 5*) and geoblocked from seeing the episodes via PLUS7.

The questions I would like you to answer for us are:

1. Why is there no legal way for UK fans, or fans from other parts of the world, to see these episodes?

2. Why are the PLUS7 episodes limited to 14 days? Is this due to space or bandwidth limitations on your servers, and if so, why are they not shown on your official YouTube channels?

3. Why have you not released any official statement regarding the removal of episodes from 'illegal' channels?

May I suggest that you put out an official statement regarding episodes on 'illegal' channels explaining why they have been removed, suggesting Australian fans at least use PLUS7 to catch up on missed episodes, remove the geoblocks and let UK fans watch the episodes.

Regards,

The Home And Away Fans

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You'd be better writing to them directly as they're not going to reply on here. But in any case...

In regards to the first question - it's not Seven's responsibility to broadcast H&A to the UK, online or otherwise. Seven hold the transmission rights solely for Australia, anywhere else is down to other broadcasters who pay for the exclusive right to broadcast H&A in their country. This is just standard practice with all networks worldwide and the reason why geoblocks are placed on catch-up services. No broadcaster would want to pay for the rights to transmit a programme if people can already legally see it for free online.

Whether broadcasters choose to spend money on those rights to the Early Years or not is down to them, but Seven can't suddenly decide to make the episodes freely available online when they still have a product that could be sold.

With the third question - well I think that's pretty much self-explanatory so there's not really a need for Seven to explain why they've had episodes removed from Youtube etc. - they own the transmission rights, simple as that.

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This means that channel 5 kind of stopped the episodes from Australia being available because I doubt that any other English speaking country would ever buy 80s and 90s episodes. As for non English speaking countries I also can't see them buying anything from the 20th century, and if they did they would still be buying the episodes for translation purposes.

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Not really, I imagine it would still be blocked even if no UK broadcaster currently bought the show.The reverse is also true: When Channel 5 were repeating episodes from the 90s and 00s back in May and they were available on Demand 5, viewers in Australia and other countries couldn't access them.It's just standard practise.

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I have just noticed today that the Seven Network have been blocking a huge number of old episodes and clips that have been around for many years. Really sad to see. It did make me wonder if they have plans for an upcoming release of past episodes but I'm pretty sure I'm giving them too much credit in thinking that.

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