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Foxtel Fail: Game of Thrones pirates raid again

Did they just forget to turn their server rooms from “Really Shitty” to “Kinda Shitty”?

BY Declan Stocker.

Many Australians found themselves without a legal way to watch HBO’s Game of Thrones premiere, after Monday night’s crash just after its broadcast.

According to Foxtel Now, an “unprecedented” amount of requests for the global phenomena’s long-anticipated return to television caused the crash. As such, many Australians have resorted to using VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, to watch the episode elsewhere online. Whether by piracy or changing the region on other streaming services, it is still considered illegal.

Restricting the availability of popular media leads to surges in requests, causing the one site able to provide the world’s most popular TV show to all of Australia to crash. Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh responded to the incident by describing himself as “ecstatic” about the increase in sign-ups for their not-functional on-demand service, demonstrating remarkable disregard for the quality of actual service being provided by Foxtel.

Unsurprisingly, this is very bad news for Foxtel Now. As a relatively new addition to the Foxtel empire, it has to compete against more established streaming institutions like Netflix. Crashing on the release day of the world’s most popular TV show, when you are the only company that legally distributes that TV show to an entire country, displays unimaginable levels of incompetence. Did they not know that Game of Thrones was popular? Did they just forget to turn their server rooms from “Really Shitty” to “Kinda Shitty”? We will hopefully know in the coming days.

By the way, Australia also leads the world in pirating Game of Thrones. While the Foxtel fail is not necessarily a reason to pirate the show, it certainly goes to show that a more viable, consumer-friendly distribution model is needed if the streaming industry hopes to make a dent in Australian internet piracy figures.

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