Foxtel Keeps Its Stranglehold On Game Of Thrones For Another Season

Remember how "fun" it was to get access to Game Of Thrones last season? How it only aired on Foxtel once per week and you had to subscribe to either an expensive package to view it once or a streaming service that didn't let you keep the episodes once you unsubscribed? Get ready for another year of it: Foxtel just reaffirmed its "exclusive" partnership with HBO for 2015.

Foxtel announced at its up-fronts event last night that HBO's shows would aired exclusively on the pay TV network in 2015. Here's the company's statement:

The deal ensures showcase, the Home of HBO will continue to bring subscribers a host of HBO content including Game of Thrones, True Detective, Girls, The Leftovers, Looking and many others.

That means all your favourite shows will still be tough to get access to unless you have a Foxtel subscription, either via a set-top box or its standalone Play subscription service.

Foxtel's exclusive arrangement with HBO made the US network's shows some of the most pirated on the planet thanks to content hungry Australians looking to watch the show on their terms rather than those of a pay TV provider.

The situation got so bad that Foxtel's head of corporate affairs decided it was time to put his foot down publicly, likening the situation to car theft: "[it's] like justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high".

Get ready for another year of that, folks.

Image credit: Mike Wrobel

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    Have they not learnt their lesson? However I do hope (not holding my breath) that each episode is released on itunes/play store after the episode has aired this time round. If they have not realised that that is the correct way to go about things, then I foresee another angry letter from Bruce which we can all laugh at.

    Last edited 31/10/14 11:00 am

      Which lesson would that be? Do you mean the one where they lock in a number of popular programs and more people subscribe to their overpriced service resulting in increased revenue? Sure, they'd probably make even more money if it was cheaper, but why do they care. Subscriber numbers are up. Revenue numbers are up. Advertising is up. It's all a numbers game and if you think, even for a second, that Rupert et al give a crap about your needs, then you're kidding yourself.

        What i meant was, it's a game Foxtel know they can't win, and that perhaps they would change tactics somewhat, however yes, it's Foxtel, and they are archaic and will go with what they've always done.

      VPN check, utorrent check... go ahead foxtel, make my day.

    "The situation got so bad that Foxtel’s head of corporate affairs decided it was time to put his foot down publicly, likening the situation to car theft: “[it's] like justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high”."

    As stupid an argument as ever.

    Digital file: can be reproduced infinitely and transmitted anywhere in the world instantaneously at practically no cost. Downloading a digital file leaves the original in place, and costs the owner nothing.
    Physical object: limited supply, costly and time-consuming to reproduce or transport. Stealing a physical object deprives the owner of the object, thus causing them a direct, quantifiable loss in assets.

    Even going by the legal definition, filesharing is not theft; it's copyright infringement. Likening copyright infringement to stealing demonstrates either a lack of understanding, or the intent to mislead others.

      Trust a fatcat CEO to liken a supercar to a product designed and intended to be accessed by the masses. No, a Ferrari is generally reasonably-priced for what you're getting, and the argument falls over when you expect a TV show to have a waiting list!

      It doesn't help that they're not selling Ferraris; they trying to convince us to buy KIA hatchbacks at Ferrari prices and wondering why we're upset... it's almost as if we all have access to some magical global communications network allowing us to see what price our neighbours get for exactly the same content.

    "You wouldn't download a car"

    Fuck you, give me a 3D printer big enough and I will show you me downloading a car.

    "Get ready for another year of that, folks."

    I am ready for another year of people whinging that they can't have what they want when they want it. I have Foxtel, but if i didn't I would be no doubt downloading the show as well, but I don't begrudge them for trying to make money off claiming exclusivity. It happens in every other facet of business, companies do what they have to do to make money. Might not be fair, might not even be legal in some cases, but it's a reality and it is a waste of time dwelling on it.

    Just download the damn show and stop complaining, or, and here's a new idea, buy the DVD/BR when it is released.

      I have foxtel. I will still download it from the US because I want to watch it when i want to watch it, not when foxtel says I should be watching it.

        lol, record it using the IQ thing.... Or stream from the On Demand section for free.

        Last edited 31/10/14 1:08 pm

      See, here's the problem. If we don't complain, nothing changes. I don't believe it is up to us to just accept the way things are. Admittedly the internet often/always takes it way too far (don't mention the Gamergate, I did once but I think I got away with it!) but again, not saying anything means nothing will change and I think we can all agree that change is what is needed. Foxtel has already begun fixing it's pricing - that's a start - hopefully eventually we'll get the other things we're asking for.

    I know this is still annoying for some but to be fair here Foxtel (including Showcase/Boxsets) will be available for $45 + $10 if you want HD from the 3rd Nov. That's pretty cheap, and it includes more than just GoT in the Showcase/Boxsets package.

    Exclusive deals are annoying but also obvious from a business owner point of view, if I can make something only available from me, why wouldn't I?

      IMO it would be fine IF there was some sort of competition to foxtel, but since it;s practically a monopoly it's not fair.

      Even at that price it's not worth it, I've had foxtel before and it's not all it's cracked up to be. A ton of ads, and a ton of re-runs. I used to watch a whooping 3-4 channels out of the whole package.

        More competition would be great, but that is up to businesses not Foxtel.

        The only ads I get are on Fox8 and SyFy, etc. Which sucks but I don't watch anything live on those so I just FF them. They can be useful though in letting me know what is actually on some of the other channels.

        Reruns is something that comes up a lot, why is it an issue? If they ran something once and never again I am sure everyone would loose their shit. Just setup your IQ to record the shows you like, simple.

        I like watching old eps of Stargate and Battlestar (when it was on), it's nice to be able to find stuff if I miss it the first time.

        I know I come access as pro Fox, I'm not, I am just against unreasonable bashing for no reason other than it's the 'thing to do'. Really, no one is entitled to get TV shows (or any unessential thing) for free, in their lap exactly how they want.

    and HBO gives no fucks. They've already secured their money from Foxtel, what they do with the license is up to them. Aussies will continue to watch it through other means, continue making headlines, continue drawing from folks curious what all the fuss is about, continue selling home media by the loads, continue winning while Foxtel continues to lose. I'm fine with that.

    Looks like I'm renewing my Pirate Bay subscription for another year.

    It was quite fun.

    1. open
    2. search for episode
    3. download episode
    4. ???
    5. Profit.

    FYI - a word from the inside - Foxtel have signed exclusive HBO rights through to 2017.

    HBO's streaming service (which doesn't require a cable package) launching in 2015 will be welcome.

    I understand that this arrangement might not suit every one and your entitled to express that and back that up by not spending your hard earned on Foxtel.

    I have Foxtel basic plus sport and happily pay for it. Now Foxtel have new packages I get showcase and a lot of other content for no extra cost. I used to buy GOT on iTunes now I don’t have to and save myself $35

    You either respect IP or you don’t, just because you don’t get to watch a show “on your terms” doesn’t give you the right to steal it.

    You certainly have the right to voice your opinion that you don’ like the arrangement, but I have to say this article sounds like Verruca Salt “ Daddy I want a squirrel Now!”

      if you want to live in the stone ages thats fine, the rest of us dont want to be left behind.

    The bit I hate is the exclusivity. IF Coles only sold all the milk and didn't allow Woolworths to sell it through some deal the ACCC would be down on them like a pack of wolves. By default me not being able to buy GoT on iTunes or Play or what ever streaming service I like UNTIL Foxtel give up the rights is what I would consider a monopoly and I thought that was against the consumer rights...
    I enjoy the show and I want to watch it... how will be something I will have to work on... either leave until DVD release or buy via stream service or get Foxtel (or download)... I would rather watch it legally and by giving back to the creators... AND on my terms.

      What people don't seem to realize is that the creators are the multi million dollar sellouts. You need to bitch to those people.

      Foxtel are just the ones who are paying $hiteloads to the sell-out studios to offer it to you legally, giving you a perfectly legal means to watch the $hite you want to watch....

    HBO are the real victims in this. Having to accept all that money from Foxtel so that the nasty pay television provider can have it as an exclusive to contribute to the profits that they're required to generate for their shareholders.

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