Of course, watching these on portuguese TV, even cable, is not an option. Most of them are not available, and when they are, they run very late in the evening or at odd hours each time.
So in the last two year, me and my wife, we have been buying these series on DVD. We have all the packs of each one of these, at least those released by the studios.
But waiting 6 months to an year to get a season is more than I can wait most of the time, so I started getting the episodes from Bitorrent. Basically, I can have access to the latest episode less than 6 to 12 hours after it airs on the US. And then, a year later, when they are available on DVD, I can buy them with all the quality.
The point of this is that the studios should be getting the message by now: there are those who are willing to buy the TV shows, directly from them, the day after they show up. Even more, they could give me digitally, a much more reliable and ecological way to distribute the content to those of us who just want that, the content.
One step in the right direction is this: at least one recent show, Commander in Chief (an ABC network attempt to fight NBC The West Wing, it seems; so far, using the first 4 episodes as guide, a failed attempt), the release date of the first season DVD is already available, and you can already pre-order it on Amazon.com (not co.uk yet). Update: I swear I saw it yesterday. Can’t find it today, but instead we have this pearl:
Commander in Chief DVD ~ Rod Lurie Share your own customer images
Availability: This title will be released on December 31, 1969. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives
Notice the date :).
So they might be cutting the lead time from the end of the season till the moment it shows up for sale online. Next step: getting rid of DVDs.