Why I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones

Why I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones

One year ago my brother in-law and I made a decision. We wanted to do the right thing. We wanted to try and pay to watch Game of Thrones season 5. Analyse that sentence for a second. I’ll add some italics for emphasis. “We wanted to try and pay to watch Game of Thrones.”

This story was originally published on April 2016.

We couldn’t just pay. We had to try to pay.

There weren’t many options.

Buying through iTunes, obviously, was out. That wasn’t allowed anymore. Paying for HBO GO was a decent second choice — because it’s HD and streams pretty well by all accounts.

But there were issues. We ran the risk of being geo-blocked and, as an Australian, technically you’re not supposed to be paying HBO GO to watch Game of Thrones.

This left us with one option. The only option you’re supposed to be considering when watching Game of Thrones: that option was Foxtel. The cheapest way to pay Foxtel to watch Game of Thrones?

Foxtel Play.

Let’s talk about Foxtel Play.

Foxtel Play turned out to be a complete disaster. Last year I wrote an article detailing the many ways in which Foxtel made it extremely difficult for me to pay them money to watch Game Of Thrones. You can read the whole story here. Here’s the TL;DR version: I had such an incredibly difficult time trying to get Foxtel Play to work that after three hours of failure and abysmal customer service I gave up and downloaded a torrent.

I refused to feel bad about that.

The article I wrote detailing my Foxtel experience struck a chord. A large number of people seemed to relate. It was one of our most read and shared stories of 2015. It spread so far and wide that eventually Foxtel got in contact with me regarding my experience.

It was a civil conversation. Very nice and polite. Essentially Foxtel provided me with a login and a password for Foxtel Play, just to check it out.

At the time I remember thinking, ‘this doesn’t change anything’. This doesn’t address the issues I had signing up for the service, it doesn’t address the customer service I had to endure. Most importantly, an unavoidable fact: I was only receiving this kind of individualised attention because I wrote a widely read article criticising the Foxtel Play service. This was, in the nicest possible sense, an attempt to stop me talking negatively about Foxtel Play. For the thousands of other users experiencing similar issues, nothing would change.

I tried it regardless. I installed the Foxtel Play app on my PlayStation 4 and – surprise surprise – another disaster.

Let me start with the basics. I would like to state from the outset: Foxtel Play is a service people are paying anything between $25 and $95 dollars for. If I was buying just for Game of Thrones you’re talking $30 minimum. This is a deal. This is considered a discount. To clarify: the package I was provided for review would have cost regular punters $50. A month.

Here are some of the issues I regularly encountered.

  • Foxtel Play runs — at best — at an extremely low resolution. 480p is the best you’re getting.
  • Foxtel Play runs a totally noticeable bar at the side of the screen that I can only assume is piracy protection.
  • Foxtel Play only allows you to use three different devices at one time. You could change this once per month. My PlayStation 4, my tablet and maybe my brother in-law’s PS4 were my default three devices during my time using Foxtel Play. Say I’m cooking and I want to watch something on my laptop, that’s not gonna happen unless one of the other devices gets the boot.
  • Foxtel Play would frequently crash. It would frequently stop to buffer. How frequently? Once I tried to watch a movie with my family and it crashed five times during the movie. Once I tried to watch a live UFC event on my laptop and I had to restart the Foxtel app four times. I missed entire fights.

I should note at this point, that this was my own personal experience with Foxtel Play. Your mileage may vary.

Game Of Thrones torrents

Let’s compare this to Netflix, a service I pay $11.95 a month for.

  • Netflix runs at HD always. If the show is available in HD it runs in HD, without fail. Despite the fact I have terrible internet.
  • Netflix has never crashed on me. Ever.
  • Netflix has no limits on devices. I’ve used my Netflix account on my PS4, my Xbox One, my Wii U, three laptops, my Nexus 7, two iPads, two mobile phones, my brother in law’s Playstation 4 – I could go on. Suffice to say I use my Netflix login everywhere I go. No problems. No issues.

Again, my personal experience. Your mileage may vary.

The gap between these two services: utterly astronomical. I cannot even communicate to you how much better Netflix is compared to Foxtel Play in design, execution, content, user experience, performance. Everything. You can claim this comparison is apples and oranges. I disagree. Regardless, the gap is insurmountable.

Now consider the fact that the service Foxtel Play had provided me was worth $50 per month. Netflix was charging me $11.95.

Now, back to Game Of Thrones.

Season six started this week and I no longer have the Foxtel Play review account. Roughly a week ago Foxtel Play began offering customers a one-time only offer. Between April 19 and April 29 users could subscribe to Foxtel Play, getting the base service and the separate Premium Movies and Drama package required to watch Game of Thrones for only $30 per month.

Only. $30. Per. Month.

A service that frequently crashes, buffers, 480p resolution.

$30. Per. Month.

Game Of Thrones torrents

I am going to say something very publically. And I would like to preface this by stating the following: I am a person who likes to pay for things. I still buy Blu-Rays. I buy video games. I rent movies on the PlayStation Store. I am currently a paying subscriber to Netflix, Spotify, PlayStation Plus, Xbox LIVE and UFC Fight Pass.

But, given that Foxtel Play is the only avenue I have for watching, I have no problem admitting that, for the foreseeable future, I will be illegally downloading Game of Thrones season 6. I will most likely buy the Blu-ray when it is released but until then, I will torrent this show and I refuse to feel bad about that.

The headlines and the stories are predictable. It’s a tradition as rigid as Anzac Day. The day after the first episode of a new Game of Throne seasons: Australians pirate in record numbers. Australia is a nation of pirates. Australia has a piracy problem.

Australia doesn’t have a piracy problem. Australia has a distribution problem. More specifically: Australia has a Foxtel problem.

It’s insane, it’s actually insane to expect consumers to subscribe a $30 a month service just to watch one single show. It’s bordering on anti-consumer to tell Australians that this is their only avenue to watch that show.

First I tried to pay Foxtel to watch Game of Thrones. They made it difficult to do that. Then they gave the service for free. Today, even if I had Foxtel Play, I would most likely still do what I did this past Monday night. I would download a torrent, watch the show in HD — without buffering, without frequent crashes — without having to endure this service I’m expected to pay $30 a month for.

Since this article was first published, Foxtel has changed the pricing for Game Of Thrones and renamed its streaming service to Foxtel Now. But has anything changed? You can read our first impressions of the revamped service here.

This story originally appeared on Kotaku.


    • unless its changed, thats not really an option for australians proper, unless you go through dubious methods that could be shut down at any time, sure money is getting to someone unlike torrents but its not truely an Australian distribution option, if it were foxtel would have shut it down because they have the monopoly on GoT

    • >technically you’re not supposed to be paying HBO GO to watch Game of Thrones.

      The article mentioned using HBO’s service and the fact that it’s against the terms of service. The issue being discussed is that there’s no easy and reasonable way to pay for distribution in Australia unless you wait for a DVD/Bluray release.

      • Still…he had the following options:

        – Don’t watch it
        – Pay for Foxtel and get HD
        – Pay for Foxtel Go and get ~SD
        – Pay for HBO Go and get HD
        – Wait and pay for Bluray
        – Wait and pay for digital download
        – Steal by torrenting

        And the guy chose to steal.

        • “- Wait and pay for Bluray
          – Wait and pay for digital download”

          Yeah because people on the internet and facebook will not bother talking about GOT just in case they might spoil something on you, oh and if you do watch it a year later, no one will care about it anymore or want to bother talking with you about what it might mean – they already know how it ends, I mean it’s old news.

          Then again I haven’t watched past the first episode of GOT, wasn’t my style, so I’ll just pirate other TV shows, because when you are only getting a season or two – just an incomplete story because the US has canceled ALL the intelligent & sci-fi shows then I’ll not bother to pay until I can buy a box set knowing it was a completed story and not just left in limbo like 85% of the shows I watch seem to do.

          • You’re trying to make a case for theft based on spoilers and discussions with friends?

          • Given the main reason for consuming entertainment content to be entertained, either by the events portrayed in the content, or follow up discussion, having that spoiled (by whatever means) devalues that content.

            The argument against torrenting is that the content has value. The author’s argument is that current distribution methods placing a cost of $30+ a month for 3-4 months does not warrant value for a single TV show. Waiting and spoiling also potentially reduce that value to a zero level for a single consumer.

            The justification the author provides is he will purchase the Blu-Ray set (approx $48 at JBHiFi) when that is made available suggesting that $12 per month is value for them, when the content is not spoiled.

            The legal option that supplies Game of Thrones in HD and reliably is currently available for $56 per month with a 12 month contract. A whopping 16 times the cost (with the argument the author is interested in no other content this provides). The unreliable SD option is 2.5 times the cost.

            Because torrenting is known, the cost minimal, the quality is present, and the delivery method is reliable, the consumer can weigh this method up against the likelihood of enforcement against illegal activity (which if we look at the state of Australian drivers as an example, that likelihood is minimal).

            It all comes down to value. Foxtel / Foxtel Go does not have it.

          • I think he’s trying to make an argument that Australia has somehow found itself in the position where Australians are forced to go through a single channel, that offers sub-standard service, to access the products and services they need and want.
            Very much like the taxi industry, Foxtel are now faced with competition that offers more for much less – be it legal, illegal.
            FWIW I use a legally blurry VPN to access paid content from the States. I want to pay HBO for their content.

  • Just get a normal Foxtel connection. Myself and others have no trouble legally getting Game of Thrones. You just don’t want to pay for Foxtel and that is the bottom line.

    The only moral argument for downloading is when it’s not available. You just sound like someone excusing away the options.

    • You’ve missed the point of the article, though.

      As a consumer, your options are:

      1. Pay $30 per month and watch an unreliable stream of 480p quality
      2. Pay approx $66 per month and watch it in beautiful HD… on whichever TV your iQ2 box is connected to.

      That’s a pretty Stone Age approach to the world’s most popular TV show, considering what Foxtel’s local competitors like Netflix and Stan are already doing.

      • Or sign up for 3 months of Platinum HD for absolutely zero cost. Cancel after 3 months with no penalty.

        Hard to argue with free.

        • *Telstra customers only.

          And don’t miss cancelling after the last episode or you get slugged $134 per month.

          • I’d try hitting up places that on sell foxtel, like Jb hi fi. Usually can get a good deal with a free trial period.

      • To be fair though, netflix and stan are not selling individual shows.

        Also I bet a lot of people complain and then probably watch a bunch of stuff that is on foxtel. Then fail to take into account for the bandwidth they are paying for which goes solely to illegal downloads.

      • To be fair though, netflix and stan are not selling individual shows.

        Also I bet a lot of people complain and then probably watch a bunch of stuff that is on foxtel. Then fail to take into account for the bandwidth they are paying for which goes solely to illegal downloads.

      • He could have made the same points without saying how he felt guilt free about it. Stealing is stealing no matter who it’s from.

        • At the risk of being a pedantic troll – technically it is not stealing. Legally, part of the definition of stealing is depriving the owner of the item. Internet piracy, whatever your opinion of its morality (and, of course, it IS illegal), is not stealing since it does not meet that criterion.
          [Quite unlike real piracy, which the big content industries are trying to conflate it with]

    • I can’t get Foxtel in my Apartment building in Crows Nest, Sydney – no cable and no satellite.

      My only option is to watch it on Foxtel Go in 480p – with apparent reliability issues – screw that.

        • Really? is it that different considering the huge amount of multi dwelling units being built. foxtel isn’t on my street. ADSL2 isn’t on my street. My best connection to anything is ADSL. No one will come to my place as ‘NBN is coming’…. so’s the virgin mary but who’s waiting. we are so behind in technology it is crazy. I don’t have an option for foxtel, netflix, hbo, stan – you name it too slow and no one will service me. best part… I live on the Central Coast, not the back of bourke, just an hour from Sydney.

          • The vast majority of new MDUs have Foxtel. You’re in the minority if you can’t get it. You don’t have to get Foxtel, and you don’t have to watch GOT. The age of entitlement is over*

          • Got some facts to back up your claim that the “vast majority” of MDU’s have Foxtel?

    • Why would anyone want to pay for that overpriced crap. It’s not worth it. Would you stick by your poor argument if Foxtel was 500 dollars a month? As the only moral argument according to you is whether or not it is available, with no accountability for it being offered for a fair price.

  • absolutely right, Australia has a massive distribution (and licensing/rights issue) and the sad thing is judging by the fact Australia only took the best pirate award by a mere 3 percent many many places have the same issue

  • I have never illegally downloaded anything that is available on Netflix or Stan, there is no good reason Foxtel or HBO should expect consumers to want to pay 3x the price of Netflix for some shitty service that should have died years ago.

  • something else to consider.
    Because Foxtel pay an exclusivity license so that only they can show it, they have very kindly guaranteed that HBO and the actors are going to get their dues wether we pirate or not.

    Bravo Foxtel, continue to write yourself out of viable business by being monopolising arsehats that provide EXTREMELY overpriced and substandard service.

    The rest of us will do what we have to do.

    • Sure, they’ll get paid no matter what, but where do you think that money comes from? Do you not see how it may increase the cost people pay for Foxtel?

      • At some point this hypothetically increasing cost will cease to represent value for Foxtel consumers, and they cease to continue to pay.

    • When people steal from shops…do you think that’s hurting their profit margins or do you reckon we’re probably paying more for the cost of our clothes and food?

      • It hurts their profit margins, because physical shops don’t have a monopoly on selling things – even if they do have an exclusive item, it can be resold privately, so there’s market forces at work which Foxtel is able to completely ignore, in this case.

  • Replace Game Of Thrones with Formula 1 and I have been through the exact same process. Closest I’ve gotten to a legal HD streaming option for F1 is to fake a UK account and use NowTV.

    I want to give an Australian company money to watch F1. I don’t want to be contracted to pay $51 a month with physical hardware when I want to watch one single channel on the device of my choosing.

    Torrenting it is.

    • If you get Foxtel to watch F1, you will want HD as well, which is an extra $10, so you are looking at $61/month.

      Whilst its hard to quantify that amount just for F1, you do get the awesome (imo) Sky coverage, including practices, pre and post race shows, and its live. So much better than channel 10’s coverage.

      • Ch10 don’t even broadcast every race – you’re getting a ‘highlights’ package the day after.

  • The case of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
    Two seasons in. Not available on Australian Netflix. When asked about DVD availability, Disney responded with “Unfortunately, at this stage there are no plans to release Agent Carter on DVD/Blu-ray in Australia.”
    The only option… piracy

      • Well you say that as an option, but who is harmed by pirating? The same ones that are “harmed” by not paying/watching. So if someone’s choices are pirating or not watching, then no-one is harmed by the choice of piracy. So what then?

        • The more people that pirate and write poor articles like this, the more socially acceptable it is and then people who once would never have felt it was ok to steal then no longer pay for the content.

          • Or, the more people that pirate, the more the business opportunities exist to distribute content digitally, with high quality to multiple devices, in no fixed location.

            Methods of peer to peer distribution of copyrighted content have been available since at least 1999. Netflix, arguably the biggest video on demand distributor globally, did not offer this service 10 years ago, but now have over 80 million subscribers globally and over $6 billion in revenue in 2015 (according to Wikipedia).

            Similar arguments can be made towards the distribution of music, and the proliferation of online streaming services. 10 years ago these businesses did not exist, and now some are thriving due to the recognition of value in distribution methods consumers want.

          • If you can’t provide a suitable service for your customer, your customers will go elsewhere. This is the result of a business having a monopoly and abusing it. Piracy is just filling a need until that need is met.

          • Do you work for foxtel?
            Consider this, Woolworths buys out coles. Major competitor now gone. No governing body to police there pricing. Your regular shop costs 200$ before the buy out. Now it costs 500$ and the quality is unpredicable, stale bread one day off meats the next sometimes there is milk. You have an option to go straight to the farm, pay them 100$ for all fresh produce and constant quality on all goods. But the government hates that because its hard to tax and audit so they make it illegal.
            The point to the article is what happens when a company whose only concern is there profit margin has complete control over a desired item. Supply and demand, basic concept. stealing is stealing but when you pay for the item AFTER you have so called stolen it, is it still stealing? or is that renting? the article states this. Also many many people who download do this, plus they pay a monthly fee to a VPN, then take into account the price of the internet they use to download the damn thing in the first place. Your are so focused and offended one one part of the article that youve missed the point. The point is that foxtel is holding the most watched show in the world for ransom, because hey, why not, we are only Australians. the most concerning thing is the amount of people in this thread saying how bad people are for NOT sitting back and allowing this to happen. How unAustralian is that. The Aussie spirit is dying if this thread is anything to go by. one last thing. I dont Download things

  • You apparently don’t understand the concept of ‘per capita’ …. Australia only beat india by 2.5% (if I recall correctly). Lets say (to make math easier), India and Australia were both @10% of the GOT piracy share. India has 1 billion people. Aus has 20 million (both these numbers rounded down). India has FIFTY times more people than Aus. Therefore, per capita, Aus is (roughly) fifty times more piratey than India. Yarr!

    • You are completely discounting the wealth gap between populations as well. You can’t make a direct comparison when 22% of Indians live in poverty. Average Australians have a higher income and earn more than the average Indian therefore more Australians have access to the tools required to pirate. etc etc etc

  • I’d rather mail my balls to Donald Trump than give Rupert Murdoch my money and their anti-competitive ways. Foxtel are the reason our Netflix sucks, why we don’t have HBO Now and by supporting Foxtel, you’re supporting the whole problem we’re in. Fuck that.

  • I’ve got to wonder when HBO is going to twig to this and tell Foxtel that they’re pulling the exclusive rights because clearly it’s doing wonders for piracy rates. You’ll never stamp out piracy completely, but if the series were available on iTunes and Google Play close to release, as they used to before Foxtel got the exclusive rights, more people would pay. Anyways, i`d still more likely to continue my expressvpn subscription for torrenting and pirating 🙂
    Expressvpn review here:

    • If people were that patient, then the torrents would be more spread out.
      No, unless it is released at the very same moment, on extremely high-speed servers, then people will continue to pirate because “Why should I have to wait?”

  • Foxtels fault, not sure how much foxtel are paying for this exclusivity, but if they adopted the iTunes model and charged $8 per episode then that’s going to be at least $8,000,000 more than they would have gotten with the current model.

  • Really long article to just say that you don’t want to pay for the existing option, because you don’t like it, not good enough for you, whatever, and instead you decide to illegally download it.

    That is the gist of the article, everything else is superfluous

    • I definitely do not agree with your interpretation of the article samaddison. The larger point here, is why don’t Australian’s have the plethora of options that other countries around the world have?
      The rest of the world (most likely) has a range of good choices for watching GoT that Australians do not have, because Foxtel using their corporate muscle has placed a legislative stranglehold on the market, not allowing Netflix and HBO the right to offer this show to us as is the case in other countries.
      The worst part is how Foxtel got this power. Through Telstra having a monopoly on what was originally government infrastructure, the copper wiring for internet, which allowed Telstra to monopolise on Australia’s internet access charging us and the other Telco’s ridiculous amounts to lease the infrastructure, and making Australian internet absolute shite.
      Although at the end of the day it was the government that decided to privatise Telstra.
      Overall, it’s a very complex issue and this article helps highlight this in a relatable fashion

      • “Other countries” is probably a limited subset of first world countries. HBO Now is US only as an example. As far as I’m aware every other distribution of GoT is via paid TV subscription. Choice is generally limited for HBO content globally.

      • Australia doesn’t have GoT options coming out the ears because Foxtel Paid For Exclusive Rights! Which they are perfectly allowed to do! Now they want to see the return on their investment by- shock & horror- getting people to pay for it!
        Oh No! How dare they!….

  • The fact that a country with the population of Australia is pretty much always the leader of movie/tv show downloads is significant, regularly beating countries with triple if not more our population size.

    Some parties use that data to portray Australia as a bunch of criminals dooming the local entertainment industry, while others recognise that it is evidence of a complete distribution system failure

    • I’d be interested to see how the numbers have shifted since the release of Netflix, Stan and Presto. I know that personally I have all but stopped any illegal downloads and have subscriptions to these services.

  • Foxtel can save money they spend on blocking competition and offer reasonable pricing…. and there won’t be any problem.
    Thank god they are not telecasting IPL anymore. So I can pay normal price for online pass and watch it in peace.

    • I agree with this. Foxtel needs to be more competitive. Their current approach is short-term only; ultimately it will spell their doom. By the way, I don’t watch Game of Thrones but I would give it a go if it were more accessible.

  • You are making an excuse for theft of product. If you were so inclined to torrent the show do so, however writing a whole article about why you need to watch a tv show NOW makes you out to be an entitled child. You can’t wait for a dvd release? or don’t like Foxtel not streaming in 1080p? fine thats all well and good but don’t put the blame back onto the services that are easily available. If your going to torrent just torrent, no excuses why they are (not) forcing your hand so you can have your precious show now.

    • You’re missing the point. GoT is a cultural phenomenon, and I can guarantee it’s more enjoyable to watch it if you don’t know what’s coming. There were some pivotal twists in earlier seasons that took me completely off guard, and they were much more enjoyable than the ones that I knew were coming because I’d overheard some spoilers on the bus. It’s like saying that sports aren’t any less exciting if you already know who wins before you start watching.

      What this boils down to is that Foxtel knows this, is in a monopoly position, and is exploiting it to the best of their abilities.

  • I’m torrenting it. Why? Because I refuse to pay for it twice. I’ll download it now and then when it’s released on Blu-Ray next year (and let’s face it, it won’t be released in 2016) then I will buy it the day it comes out, the same as I have for every season of it so far.

  • A lot of people are missing the point I think pay don’t pay – Torrent don’t torrent it’s irrelevant.
    What we lack in Australia is a choice of being able to watch movies and TV show’s at a competitive price from a source of our choice. I’m sorry but as a tech savy consumer I’m not going to pay good money for a sub quality product. No one would.
    Unfortunately the situation with GoT and Foxtel reflects an old Free to air mentality were a TV stations would by the rights to show all the Cricket games for that season. 7,9 and 10 use to duke it out every year for the rights. This line of thinking has bitten Foxtel in the arse as no one wants to pay for their poor and over priced service. And Foxtel are locked into a contract to pay for a TV show they can’t resell… Lesson learned … perhaps not… blame piracy instead of coming up with a better business model and lobby the government to spend tax payers dollars to re-coop you losses. FU Foxtel

  • I believe that Foxtel have also forfeited the rights to the English Premier League, (EPL) to Optus next season. (This coming August). If correct, that will mean a massive outflow of customers.

  • I have no problem paying a reasonable price for a good service. How a service is deemed “reasonably priced” is determined by the cost of comparable services, in this case Netflix, Presto and Stan. Foxtel is two to three times the price at less than half the quality with fewer options for the devices you can view it on.
    If Foxtel did not have a monopoly on this show and it was made available to all of three services then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. The bottom line is that the only reason that we are having this discussion is because Foxtel is offering a far inferior service whilst maintaining a monopoly on this TV show.
    Stop allowing Murdoch and Co. from holding Australians ransom, create equal avenues for distribution and this conversation is irrelevant.

  • I also think FOXTEL is overpriced and under value. However I think the underlying issue is the distributors selling the wholesale content. It is the distributors that are living in an archaic world. The days of selling digital goods in different markets at different times at different prices should be long gone. The only reason I can believe the distributors are keeping this practice is that they believe they can extract more money from the paying public by doing so – usually the Australian (over)paying public.

    I understand that the BBC is fully funded by TV licensing in the UK. I would happily pay what UK citizens pay to have streaming BBC, but archaic distribution practices prevent this. So instead I give my money to a geo unblocking service. The unblocking service also gives me access to a better video catalogue from the Apple ITunes Store (also lower prices).

    Seriously distributors, time to move on!

    • . . . . and Netflix, in Australia we get about 1/8 of the content available in the USA.

      And it’s not the sole fault of the distributors, again it comes down to News Corps and Telstra (aka Foxtel). This behemoth says to the distributors, sure we’ll buy your shows (Game of Thrones for example) but we require you to sign a clause that you will not release it via any other media in Australia for a bazillion years (mwah hah ha) – and by the way, we’ve made sure that there is no viable alternative for your distribution in Australia.

      To compare, in the UK NOW TV allows users to watch Sky Atlantic live online, as well as catch up with episodes after broadcast, all without a pesky Sky contract (for Sky read Foxtel). This VOD service costs £6.99 a month – $13.70 – for an Entertainment Pass, which gives you streaming access to Sky’s TV channels, such as Sky 1 (home of Arrow and The Flash) and FOX (home of The Walking Dead), as well as Sky Atlantic (Penny Dreadful and The Affair). Now, I would pay Foxtel for that. Where’s my VPN.

  • I’d like to see a comparison chart from around the world eg how easy is it to legally pay for and watch a single GoT episode at the time of or day after release say UK, Germany, USA, Australia, India.

    I had a similar experience when I wanted to watch one AFL game I could pay for a subscription package to a whole bunch of things I didn’t want at a large price $30 ish when all I wanted to do was pay lets say $3-$5 to watch one AFL game when I couldn’t get to a TV.

  • imo it’s not the author of this article who’s stealing but Foxtel.
    He, like me, has tried every possible way to legally obtain a fair priced and HD quality version of GoT as it happens in the US – like millions of other viewers around the world.
    I want nothing more than to pay HBO a fair price for this excellent show. Instead, I have to give a minimum of $30 a month to Foxtel, of which HBO receive a fraction of the price, and for what? A poor streaming service at best which is unreasonably expensive; this restricted practice service is the crime being committed here.
    An article in the Guardian recently said that . . . . according to the filesharing news blog TorrentFreak, Australia was responsible for 12.5% of all illegal downloads of the episode within 12 hours of its [GoT] broadcast in the US Monday . . . . followed by the US with 8.5% and the UK with 6.9%. “It may simply be that Australians really, really don’t want to pay for Foxtel,” remarked Vincent Varney of Pages Digital of Australia’s “impressive numbers”. HBO was made available for free in the US at the weekend, which may have helped to stem some piracy there.
    Until such a day that HBO Go is available directly to subscribers in Australia then I, like Mark and hundreds of thousands of Australians, will download without guilt and buy the bluray when it is released [in the USA] to ensure proper compensation goes to HBO. If Foxtel wakes up and starts to provide the kind of quality streaming service that is available in every other free nation in the world for a fair price I would seriously look at joining their slowly haemorrhaging group of supporters.

  • Foxtel and the distributors are clearly the issue here. Firstly the distributors are trying to maximise the profits for the TV studio and therefore they sell the rights of GoT to Foxtel for a massive amount. They are happy as they have been paid and don’t care about the average Aussie and weather or not they can watch the show.

    Foxtel, as they have just paid a massive amount for the show want to get a return on their investment so they charge the average aussie a premium to get access to the show. However in reality most people will avoid this by pirating the show.

    Who looses by us Aussies pirating the show? Well no one really. The studio and distributor has already been paid so they are happy, the aussies that pirate the show were never going to pay Foxtel therefore they are not out of pocket either. What difference does it make to Foxtel if I made a choice to either not watch the show or pirate it? Neither makes a difference because in both options Foxtel is not going to see a penny from me.

    The studios and distributors need to align to the music industry as soon as possible if they want to reduce the amount of piracy, however to do this they would need to undo lengthy content contracts with broadcasters.

    Even though there are multiple streaming services available such as Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime. Each have the rights to different series, shows and movies, meaning you need to subscribe to 3 or 4 different services to get full coverage. The studios and distributors need to make all content available to all services in return for a small fee for each time that a show is downloaded or streamed which is how the music industry now works. The services can then compete on a level playing field and differentiate their services based on features and usability rather than content. Yes they can still have exclusives for different providers but limit this to a short timeframe. For example Netflix could have the exclusive to GoT where it is made available for streaming 30 minutes after it airs on HBO, Stan and Amazon Prime could then have it available 2 hours later. The same can be done with movies. After the movie has aired in the cinema’s it is made available to all streaming services unless one of them pays for an exclusive period of a few weeks.

  • All the Foxtel shills here are the reason we have substandard service, monopolist practices and a crappy internet.

  • I’ve bought every season of GoT on bluray and will buy the next one as well, so I don’t feel terrible about pirating the show in the meantime. Of course I like to live in the grey.

  • Rebranding won’t work.

    Increased advertising hasn’t been working, either.

    Foxtel needs to simplify and switch to 100% on demand streaming without advertising for less than the cost of netflix if they want to remain competitive. They won’t, though, and will continue to lose customers as everyone switches to cheaper internet streaming services, and as a result the remaining Foxtel consumers suffer with increased advertising.

    Just because you have a satellite doesn’t mean you should use it when better options are available that will give a higher ROI. No more Foxtel iq boxes. No more advertising. Give the people what they want: $10/month for everything that $104 currently gets with support for 8k.

  • Have you notice that Netflix shows are rarely pirated? This is because of the 3 entertainment rules. 1. Pricing, 2. Quality, 3 Accessibility. Foxtel is the problem.

    Foxtel needs competition. They now have the rights to all nrl game, which is not good for sports fans, because when channel nine stops showing the nrl, the price of the sports channels will skyrocket. This is what monopolies do, they get rid of competition and then charge people a crazy amout for content that can only be found through them, and them only.

    If the government made a law stating that all entertainment is available to all companies and streaming services in Australia, and banning a company from owning a tv show or movie unless they produced it themselves. This would destroy piracy. Netflix would have game of thrones, google play, amazon prime, quickflix, etc. A good amount of competition is what Australia needs. Unfortunately Foxtel will do everything they can to stop this happening. The government loves money which is why foxtel is always up their bums to stop the pirate websites, but because most ppl in the government are grampa’s(ppl who know nothing about what day it is) they will never understand the real problem. With housing going up, and food, electricity etc. People will keep torrenting game of thrones until they get a good deal.

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