If you were holding out hopes that Foxtel’s mega sensation Game of Thrones would be joining Netflix’s content library we have bad news. It won’t be coming to Netflix anytime soon. Or ever.
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With Australia’s long awaited Netflix launch yesterday’s news, we’re finally getting a taste for the joys of content streaming, which our TV binging counterparts in the USA have been enjoying for years.
The question on everyone’s lips – shortly after “where’s my credit card?” and “can my broadband handle what is about to happen?” – was if the television phenomenon that is Game of Thrones would ever make the jump from Foxtel to Netflix in Australia.
The short answer is no.
The long answer is no, not ever. We spoke to Jamie Campbell, media liaison at Foxtel to get clarification on this very subject and were advised that Foxtel would be showing Game of Thrones right through to “the end of the series.”
Word on the street was that the license for Game of Thrones was set to expire on October 31 this year, leaving the door open for a bidding war, however, it appears Foxtel wasn’t about to lose its marquee IP, and secured the rights to Game of Thrones till the end of the series last year. This means that as long as showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benihoff keep the tales of Westeros on the small screen, Foxtel will keep showing it to Aussies – at a price.
If you’re clever about it, you could pay as little as $90 for the new season on Foxtel Play, Foxtel’s IPTV service. In a bid to win new subscribers, Foxtel slashed the price of its Premium Movies and Drama package – which includes Game of Thrones – from $20 to $5 for the first three months of your subscription, which sits on top of the basic $25 per month fee.
Non-subscribers can make use of the no lock-in contract to sign up for three months, watch Season 5, and get out again.
Current subscribers can also take advantage of this offer. While their subscription package won’t automatically drop to $5 for three months, they can effectively end their contract, resign up, take advantage of the offer, then continue their subscription as normal after three months, when the price returns to $20 per month.
It’s the worst kept secret in Australian, however, that nefarious other means of accessing Game of Thrones episodes occur in spades.
As a country we continue to make headlines for illegally downloading the show, with the Season 3 finale downloaded a record one million times within 24 hours.
In previous years, this was partly due to Australian audiences wanting to watch the show as soon as it became available; Game of Thrones is notorious for its heart-wrenching and gobsmacking spoilers.
This is set to change in 2015. HBO, who produce Game of Thrones, will simulcast the new season in 170 countries, which means Australians can get their GoT fix on April 13 at 11am AEST on Foxtel, at exactly the same time as millions of other fans round the world.
It’s no doubt a bid to reduce piracy, but will it have any effect in Australia? With an influx of streaming services entering the market at a more attractive price point than Foxtel (Netflix starts at $8.99 per month, Presto at $9.99 per month, and Stan at $10 per month), Aussies have more choice than ever when it comes to a good old TV viewing binge.
We’ll have to wait until April 13 to find out for sure. But no, Game of Thrones will never be making it’s way to Netflix.
Game of Thrones is available on Foxtel Play at 11am AEST on April 13, and will be broadcast on Foxtel Prime at 7:30pm the same day.