Foxtel's Game Of Thrones Premiere Was A Bloody Mess

Image: HBO / Game of Thrones

Game Of Thrones has proven too popular for its own good, with Foxtel Now going into meltdown under the weight of thousands of customers connecting at the same time. A similar phenomenon occurred in the US and Latin America. (Presumably, those evil pirates got to watch the show just fine. Tch.)

Foxtel has admitted that last night's premiere of Game Of Thrones season 7 caused "technical glitches" to the service, with online subscribers weathering frequent site crashes as they attempted to watch the show. Parent company HBO also issued a statement confirming that several streaming platforms around the globe were unable to handle the load.

In Australia, the meltdown was blamed on a surge in demand for Foxtel Now just before episode one premiered. (Why Foxtel didn't anticipate and prepare for this we have no idea.) Needless to say, affected customers were not pleased:

And here is last night's Foxtel report from Internet outages:

In the face of mounting online criticism, Foxtel was forced to issue the following apology:

We are devastated that some customers experienced technical issues tonight. As was the case in the U.S. and Latin America, the unprecedented rush for a subscription just prior to the telecast, crashed the system. Foxtel engineers are working through the night to resolve the issue. It’s most unfortunate and we apologise to those affected. We are committed to resolving the technical faults immediately and together with our broadcast partners around the world, we are giving this the same degree of priority.

Foxtel pointed out that anyone impacted by the website crash will be able to watch the episode either On Demand or via encore screenings later in the week. But that's hardly a substitute for watching live. Game Of Thrones is a cultural event akin to sports - we want to watch it at the same time as the rest of the world.

We hate to say it, but this cock up looks incredibly bad for Foxtel. After sowing up the streaming rights for the entire continent, the least Foxtel could've done was ensure its customers had access the show they paid for. After generating a lot of good will with improved Game Of Thrones pricing, it appears the company has taken a huge step backward. In short, fans who followed the rules and did the right thing were penalised for it.

In the words of one disgruntled Gizmodo reader: "If you don't pile on the number of servers to properly cater for capacity THIS WEEK with all the money in your coffers, i daresay that many wont give you a second chance after next week. All those 2 week free memberships will not come back as paying customers, and you wont have anyone else to blame."

Hopefully, these "technical glitches" will be ironed out in time for next week's episode. For what it's worth, we experienced no problems in the office - you can read our recap for episode 1 here.

[Via Gizmodo]

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Comments

    (Presumably, those evil pirates got to watch the show just fine. Tch.)Why whatever do you mean ;)
    No buffering, no glitching and high def too..

    Last edited 18/07/17 7:56 am

    Erm.. Why am I being moderated??

      Did you try to edit a comment? For some reason it has to be moderated. Or you may just be the random person that gets moderated for a week because you said something and it got taken the wrong way?

    Damn. It didn't even occur to me the pressure foxtel'd be under for this first viewing. Turns out HBO could be making an absolute killing from other, more reliable and arguably more popular video distribution methods, though.

    Oh well. Eggs, basket, etc.

    Even when it was playable, the stream quality was pathetic. I was watching on a solid NBN connection and it looked worse than SD quality.

    Lifehacker trumpeted that Foxtel was now "the cheapest VOD service" a few weeks ago.

    Pay peanuts, get Monkey crap.

      Ah!!! You beat me to the punch!!

      But Ditto +1....agree 100%

      I'd say they're getting what they paid for, but apparently not paying gets you a whole lot better.

    so apart from the huge cock up last night, i am still wondering something.
    the actual live air time for us is about monday 11am?
    so are you able to stream it with Foxtel Now anytime you like after about 12?

      Correct. The Play Anytime option kicks in straight away.

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