* it attracted bumper ratings
* Nine is warning of legal action over downloaders
* a court appeal will commence today
The Nine Network is considering legal action against breaches of copyright over the distribution of Underbelly.
ninemsn reports the ISP address of the first person to upload the show had been obtained by the network.
The network said in a statement that any uploading of Underbelly is “an infringement of our copyright”.
“We do not condone any other parties interfering with our rights and if necessary we will take legal action,” the statement read.
The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) is currently investigating the matter, and is expected to make a list of recommendations to Victoria Police.
“It is a criminal offence to upload copyrighted property,” AFACT operations director Neil Gane said.
“We are investigating a members-only site that, as of today, is listing Underbelly as well as various other movie and TV titles.”
European-based websites began offering the series within 20 minutes of it concluding in New South Wales. These have seen downloads in the tens of thousands. Two Australian-hosted torrents sites have gone offline since, aptly, the drama went online.
The Office of Public Prosecutions yesterday refused to comment on any legal move against a South Melbourne hotel which held a public screening via a WA satellite feed.
The controversy surrounding the series ensured it was the number #1 show in all cities outside Melbourne. Nine attracted 1.3m viewers, which had it enjoyed the hometown audience, would likely have hit figures over 2m.
Meanwhile, Nine will start its appeal against a Supreme Court ban on Underbelly today at 2.15pm. The Age reports that lawyers acting for Nine will lodge an affidavit detailing why the appeal should be listed expeditiously.
The Nine Network’s compelling and controversial Australian drama series UNDERBELLY was the most successful Australian drama launch for Sydney and in the 25-54 year-old demographic since the new OzTam ratings system was introduced.
UNDERBELLY, the dramatisation of Melbourne ’s infamous gangland killings was also the number one show of the night for the 25-54 demographic, even without a Melbourne audience. UNDERBELLY was not shown in Victoria last night due to a court order suppressing its broadcast in that state.
Last night’s debut of UNDERBELLY attracted a peak audience of 1.475 million and an average audience across the two hour broadcast of 1.325 million viewers (All People, excluding Melbourne).
The two hour series premiere was the number one program of the night for All People in all markets that it aired – Sydney , Brisbane , Adelaide and Perth .
It was also the number one program in Sydney , Brisbane , Adelaide and Perth for the key 25-54 demographic.
UNDERBELLY was must-see viewing with the audience staying for the 2 hour broadcast.
In Sydney , it attracted a peak audience of 685,000. Brisbane – 345,000, Adelaide – 215,000 and Perth – 259,000.
UNDERBELLY attracted an average audience across the two hours of 617,000 viewers in Sydney, Brisbane – 293,000, Adelaide – 189,000 and Perth – 226,000.