TORONTO - The Canadian Broadcasting Company will use BitTorrent this week to distribute this year's episode of the popular annual show "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister."

 

The move makes Canada the first country in North America to release high-quality, DRM-free copies of a prime-time show using the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing technology.

 

"Canada's Next Prime Minister" drew more than 1 million viewers in 2007, which is considered a huge success in that country.

 

Reports said high-quality copies of the show will be released the day after it airs on TV and will have no DRM restrictions.

BitTorrent is popular because of its ability to reduce distribution costs for broadcast companies. European broadcasters, including the BBC, are working on a next-generation BitTorrent client that will allow them to make their content available online.

 

CBC is conducting the entire BitTorrent effort in-house. The show will be encoded into multiple formats, including an iPod-friendly version, and the BitTorrent server will run on a CBC server.