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John Birmingham: Give them their X-Files, or they'll take it

The bosses at Network Ten must have partied a little too hard when all that extra ad revenue came in from the Big Bash League.

It's OK. I understand. If I had just kicked three kinds of hell out of the arrogant tools at Nine, after years getting corn-holed by them, I'd totally drink my own body weight in vodka shambles and dive nude into a mountain of top-shelf cocaine. But that's me. I'm sure the execs at Ten just shared a quick round of shandies which, after decades of running last and making do with less and less, went straight to their thick heads.

Mulder and Scully are back, but you'll have to wait if you want to see them on Ten.
Mulder and Scully are back, but you'll have to wait if you want to see them on Ten. 

How else to explain holding back the rebooted X-Files for a week after it airs in the US? Perhaps they own a piece of BitTorrent?

Nothing can be more certain than the vast data streams of stolen alien goodness that will pour onto local screens when fans can't get legit access to the show when they want it. The only question will be whether more people steal it than stole Game of Thrones last year.

Yeah, yeah, yeah … we're not even going to have that argument. I call it stealing. You call it whatever. Let's all just agree that the real monsters of this piece are the programmers at Ten who could air the show when we all want to watch – i.e., immediately – but somehow woke up in a time before the internet and thought, "Ha, screw you. You'll get your lousy show when we say you will and you'll like it. Or you'll get the back o' me hand."

Come on, Ten. Help me out here. Every time I write one of these columns I brace myself for the tsunami of self-entitled righteousness from thieves and villains stealing your stuff. You're making it very hard to defend you, bro.

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Hell. No. You make it impossible.

There is no reason for this crap any more. You know there is huge anticipation for this reboot. You know we are all out there, begging for it.

Why you got to make us wait?

Because you can? 

Well, you can't.

Fact is you are going to lose tens of thousands of viewers, maybe hundreds of thousands, because you are not the power any more. They are. It's not like it was. If you don't give the people what they want, they are gonna take it.

This is not like Netflix threatening to shut off access via VPN. That's a move to placate the studios who provide their content. Six or seven weeks after Netflix throws that switch, they know the Virtual Private Networks are going to have tunnelled around their blocks. Hell, they'll probably help them by making the geofence all lame and rickety.

But you, you got no excuse.

Except maybe those shandies going to your head.

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