How To Watch Game Of Thrones In Australia Without iTunes

How To Watch Game Of Thrones In Australia Without iTunes

When Game Of Thrones returns to Australian screens in April, you’ll no longer have the option of buying the episodes on iTunes shortly after transmission. Here’s what you can do instead.

We’ve known since mid-2013 that Foxtel has locked down an exclusive deal which means Game Of Thrones won’t be offered on the Australian iTunes store for Season 4, but the issue flared up again in news media over the weekend after Foxtel programmer boasted on the deal to our friends at TV Tonight. It’s an annoying arrangement for viewers who wanted a way to legally watch Game Of Thrones and support those involved with the show, but who can’t find value in a Foxtel subscription.

These are the choices you have.

Pay for a Foxtel subscription

This is what Foxtel is hoping everyone will do, and it is fast-tracking episodes so they’ll screen on the same day. It isn’t a cheap option though — the cheapest package which includes HBO content (a requirement for Game Of Thrones) is $74 a month, and you’re usually stuck with a long-term contract. It’s not surprising fans are looking for alternatives.

Wait for the DVD or Blu-ray

Fully legal, no hassles waiting for downloads, high quality, easy binge watching. However, you won’t be able to get your hands on it until well after transmission, which will mean months of trying to avoid spoilers if you haven’t read the books. This is the obvious option for casual or new viewers but won’t work for devotees.

Download a pirated copy

This isn’t legal, but it’s what most non-Foxtel fans will end up doing (expect to see the traditional news articles about how Australia tops Thrones piracy leagues shortly after 6 April). Many will justify the decision by purchasing the DVDs or Blu-rays later when they are released.

Solutions that won’t actually work

Game Of Thrones isn’t offered on the iTunes store in the US, so you can’t simply use a US iTunes account. And it isn’t on Netflix either, so you can’t use a US VPN to access it that way. This does raise one useful point: while Foxtel’s deal has undoubtedly annoyed a lot of viewers, HBO is just as restrictive in other markets. It’s not a case of Australia having an especially restrictive arrangement: it’s a case of the show’s creators trying to make as much money as possible. We have to assume that the amount Foxtel paid for an exclusive is higher than what HBO made from iTunes sales.


  • This subject has been done to death now…. All these solutions are unacceptable, and the situation isn’t going to change any time soon…!

    • I think until studios are willing to alter their business model we are going to be in a limbo state of illegal downloads.

      The longer they try to maintain their grip on the old business model, more revenue is going to slip through their fingers.

      And don’t get me started on that idiotic approach of trying to sue people for downloading. I mean really guys, work with the internet and not against it!

  • Actually it’s not foxtels fault. If you do some research you will find it’s not available anywhere in the world as a digital copy not even in America or US Itunes or HBO online. HBO says they are moving away from online contents for their premier shows as this will reduce privacy (no easily uploadable hd quality digital copies to put onto torrent sites) it’s exclusive the cable providers only.

      • That’s something useful I’ll be taking away from this. Previously I’ve been blaming Foxtel as greedy, old media dinosaurs, but the lack of iTunes thing isn’t actually them. Makes the show less attractive now that the creators are the ones enforcing policies like this.
        Guess it’s time I start reading the books then.

    • Then again, all it really takes is a person with a DVR, and BOOM! You have a digital copy available for distribution minutes after the show completes airing.

      You can’t stop the signal.

    • A lot of those who do watch it on HBO, generally record it for later rehash, and some of those will dump it as a torrent, so in general, it’s going to be on line sooner rather than later….

    • I sometimes buy sheet music digitally, but most stores only allow it to be printed (via their web site) to physical paper and not a PDF or other virtual print driver. This is a pain as I may not be connected to a printer at the time of purchase.

      Their reasoning appears to be the same as HBO, but honestly the difference between me saving it directly as a PDF (where I prefer it to be as I generally access it from a tablet) and scanning it and uploading as a new PDF is about five minutes.

      The vendor does more work, the user has a less satisfactory experience ( if not deterred all together), and the net effect on piracy is negligible to nil.

      • I read the books as they came out. The delays became too long and I never completed nor purchased the final volumes.

        I guess the same thing is going to happen for the shoes. George R. R. Martin has shot himself in the foot for the second time. Leaving me withe the financial wounds.

    • Yup, that’s what I’ve done so far… but then I’ve also read the books so I know what’s going to happen roughly so I can wait for the eventual BLU-RAY release and price drop (BECAUSE I’M CHEAP).

      This does however piss off a lot of friends of mine that want to gush about the series.

      • Read the books instead, then you can beat THEM to the gushing, AND gain a hipster-worthy sense of smug self-satisfaction at knowing how much better and more detailed the books are! “Oh, have you got to that bit where he visits… oh, that doesn’t happen in the TV series? Shame. It really gives a lot of context for later. Hm? Oh, you’ll find out. Heh.”

    • watched the first series…stopped.
      read all the books and realised that my imagination is better than what they can do at HBO.
      now waiting on next book and hoping george doesnt kick it

      • or Option 6: make your own adaptation of the Song of Ice and Fire books. You could even sue people for pirating it then.

      • My imagination is better than most dating sites, doesn’t mean I don’t like looking at my naked girlfriend right now.
        PS – reading your comment in the voice of The Simpson’s Comic Book Guy improves it greatly.

  • So, what is the Foxtel option for watching Game of Thrones then? Can you not get that Foxtel Go thingy and watch it on your PS3?

  • Is it on HBO Go? And didn’t the head of HBO tell people that it’s a great to share your login? So that plus a VPN.

  • Foxtel Play would be the cheapest option @ $50 a month, get a free 14 day trial and can cancel membership at anytime (No Contract).

  • So glad I have fox. I’ll be watching it straight up. Then I’ll buy DVDs and I have books too, whoops is that greedy!!!

  • Foxtel is unimaginably expensive, and to boot, it has commercials. It is beyond my comprehension why people subscribe to Foxtel at it’s current pricing.
    I’ll wait for the Blu-Ray

  • option 3 for me, then once show is canceled or ends completely, Blu-ray or what ever format is avi at that time for complete special edition sweet as box set

    • While what you’re doing is all well and good, and after being stuck not being able to buy the Stargate box set because I already owned most of what was in it I certainly don’t fault you for going about it that way, it presents a problem. It doesn’t support the show while it’s on the air which can be dangerous (well, not for Game of Thrones, but other less popular shows where people do the same thing). If Game of Thrones was struggling people holding out for the ultimate edition which we all know they’re going to release it could tip the balance and get the show cancelled.
      If the show lasts 10 seasons they’ve got invest 10 years worth of funds in it before they see any money from people watching that way.

      Meanwhile the reward for doing the ‘right’ thing is getting screwed out of a really nice thing you want that almost always results in more money for the people making the content. Everyone works out better in the long term your way but it can put a show in a hazardous position. Those who get in early and support the show at every step ultimately either pay way more buying it all twice or get less than those who pick it up at the last minute. They need an open ended system where you get a proof of purchase token that counts towards the ultimate edition when it’s finally released.
      Games sort of solved it with a ‘season pass’ for DLC that enabled people buying DLC as it was released to get the same discount people holding out for a ‘complete’ edition do, but publishers milked it and turned the concept into a joke.

  • can’t HBO just allow HBOGO in Australia? i’d pay a small sub fee for it, with Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, plus other great shows they have, why not?

  • Pirate it, then buy it when its on DVD. Don’t give FOX a godamn cent. If you ISP sends you a message, get TOR. Don’t let these fools ruin the internet.

  • Restricting my favourite shows to foxtel won’t suddenly make me able to afford a subscription. I refuse to pirate, however, so I guess I will just have to risk spoilers while I wait for I-tunes. Thanks so much for adding one more difficulty to my life, HBO.

  • What about using Getflix DNS with an AppleTV set to use USA as the iTunes location (don’t actually need a USA iTunes account)? The HBO app is in AppleTV for USA people and then subscribe to HBO. Just a thought which hasn’t been tested.

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