Ask LH: Has Foxtel Been Censoring ‘Game Of Thrones’ For Classification Purposes?

Dear Lifehacker, I know Foxtel doesn’t always show fully-uncut films on its movie channels. I’m wondering whether it also trims “inappropriate” content from TV shows? The reason I ask is because Game of Thrones is classified R18+ on DVD but only MA15+ on Foxtel’s Showcase channel. What’s going on? Is Foxtel editing the episodes to attain a lower rating? Thanks, Red Rating

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Dear RR,

As an avid Game Of Thrones fan, I can confirm that all episodes released on DVD/Blu-ray have been identical to the televised versions. Foxtel “fast-tracks” each episode direct from the US without making any cuts.

The reason for the higher DVD rating probably has something to do with the way Australia’s classification system works. Currently, the Classification Board does not classify material that is broadcast on television networks. These ratings are determined by classifiers who work at the television stations using the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

For whatever reason, it appears Foxtel has deemed Game Of Thrones suitable for viewers who are 15 and over, whereas the Classification Board has determined that a higher R18+ restriction applies. As far as we know, this has nothing to do with the special features on the DVDs which are all pretty tame.

We’ve contacted Foxtel for further clarification and will update the article with its response. In any event, you can rest assured that all the decapitations, eye-gouging and rude bits are present and accounted for.


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