Australians Give Foxtel Two Finger Salute Over Game Of Thrones

Written by David Richards     08/04/2014 | 15:41 | Category: CONTENT & DOWNLOADS

Australians have given Foxtel the two finger salute in a move that could well cost the network dearly.

Australians Give Foxtel Two Finger Salute Over Game Of Thrones
An analysis of over 18,000 IP addresses reveals that Melbourne is the top city in the world for downloading the show closely followed by Athens and Sydney.

Once downloaded the show was then shared with an additional 300,000 people within half a day of its US broadcast on HBO.

The TorrentFreak data also reveals that when it came to the final episodes of series three the popular show the content file was ripped over 1m times within 24 hours and shared by up to 170,000 simultaneously.  

TorrentFreak accounted for 9.9 per cent of the 1m downloads that day.

Scott Lawson the CEO of Fetch TV said Australians will pay not for content when they have to pay for 5o things when all they want is one".

He said that what is needed is wider distribution of content and a pricing system that allows consumers to easily pay and download content they want. 

One Industry insider said that Foxtel paid over $10M dollars to get the rights for Game of Thrones from HBO and that HBO saw this as an "easy option to make quick money in Australia" as opposed to waiting for revenue from subscriptions. 

In an effort to capitalise on their investment in the HBO property  Foxtel stepped up its efforts to broadcast Game of Thrones two hours after the US release yesterday, and make it available to watch for free through a promotional trial offer on its catch-up viewing app Foxtel Play.

Despite the record rate of illegal downloading, Foxtel recorded some of its best ratings for the show on Showcase according to mUmBRELLA.

The show also broke records for the show on HBO in the US with 6.6m people watching from 9pm/8pm central time as well as causing its streaming service HBO Go to crash. 

Foxtel who are struggling to hold onto market share with their subscription numbers being propped up by Telstra T Box sales has also copped a massive serve from Game of Thrones star Finn Jones who has described contracts restricting when fans of the hit show can watch the new season as "archaic".

"The way we distribute entertainment at the moment is quite archaic" he said. 

Season four of the hit show was launched on Monday afternoon on Foxtel in Australia, but with a number of restrictions on when fans can watch the show digitally.
 Jones, who is touring Australia for the Supernova Pop Culture Expo told Fairfax Media ''People want it when they want it,'' he said.

Foxtel has an exclusive deal with US premium cable channel HBO for season four of the series, which premieres on Monday and is based on George R.R. Martin's seven-book fantasy series (two yet to be published), A Song of Fire and Ice. The Foxtel shuts out iTunes and Quickflix users, who are no longer be able to view new episodes as soon as they have aired on Foxtel's Showcase channel. 

They will have to wait and buy the season in full when the finale's credits roll.

According to Fairfax Media Foxtel signed the output deal with HBO in October, 2012, which gave it a longer "hold back" on programs, delaying their availability to free-to-air broadcasters, and allowing them to air HBO content day and date with the US.