The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular sitcoms in history with 17 million average viewers for its latest season 11, will dedicate an entire episode on bitcoin.
Episode 9 of the Big Bang Theory season 11, which will air on November 30, 2017, is entitled “The Bitcoin Entanglement,” and analysts expect the show to introduce bitcoin to the mainstream, to an important consumer base for bitcoin. The Big Bang Theory is most watched amongst viewers in the age group of 19 to 35, which is a relatively young viewership for a popular sitcom.
Over the past 12 months, several popular TV series including Mr. Robot have featured bitcoin, introducing the cryptocurrency to a consumer base that likely has not heard of bitcoin yet. Exposure of bitcoin by massively influential TV series like The Big Bang Theory and Mr. Robot is vital for the long-term growth of bitcoin, as it will aid the growth of the mainstream adoption of bitcoin as a robust store of value and currency in the upcoming years.
Big Bang Theory’s Awkward Relationship With China
The Big Bang Theory’s main feature of bitcoin on episode 9 is particularly interesting because of the long history between the show and China. In 2014, the Chinese government started to crackdown on Western shows and video sharing platforms, allowing domestic technology companies like Tudou and Youku to take over the video sharing and streaming markets.
As a Fortune report in 2015 read:
“Back in April 2014, the CBS hit disappeared from a legal video-streaming site, for reasons the country’s television regulator never explained. Some theorized that the regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), was sending a message.”
However, in mid-2015, The Big Bang Theory reappeared in China on one of the most widely utilized local video platform Sohu. Since then, Chinese viewers have been permitted in streaming and watching the TV series from legalized service providers like Tencent, Sohu, and Tudou.
Still, Scott Cendrowski of Fortune emphasized, the Chinese government have continued to require Sohu and other video platforms to submit the entire TV series for review before they can be aired. In the case of season 11 and specifically episode 9 featuring bitcoin, it remains uncertain whether the Chinese government will try to censor the episode due to its feature of bitcoin, given the government’s recent suspension and nationwide ban on cryptocurrency trading.
“Whereas Sohu and the other streaming sites once aired the shows they wanted without much interference from Chinese regulators, as long as the most lascivious and violent scenes were censored, SARFT now says full seasons must be submitted to be reviewed before they can air. The rules were introduced last September by the central government’s regulator to clamp down on foreign shows, often the most popular among Chinese viewers,” wrote Cendrowski.
If the season 11 of The Big Bang Theory airs in China as planned, it could trigger the community to re-evaluate the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets, and could spur the demand for the digital currency in the short-term.