Foxtel Game of Thrones deal blocks iTunes/Quickflix fast-tracking
By Adam TURNER
After this season, Foxtel's HBO deal will put iTunes/Quickflix fast-tracking to the sword -- but will this deal backfire?
The announcement that Quickflix will join iTunes in fast-tracking season three of Game of Thrones this year is great news for those of us who can't afford Foxtel but don't want to resort to the BitTorrent channel. Unfortunately it's a short-lived victory, as Foxtel insists that next season's deal will stop iTunes and Quickflix offering new episodes in Australia until Foxtel has finished screening the entire series.
Pay TV is still considered an expensive luxury in Australia rather than essential viewing, largely because the government's anti-siphoning laws have ensured popular sport isn't completely locked away behind the Foxtel paywall. Unfortunately popular dramas such as Game of Thrones aren't offered the same protection. Foxtel is also out to nab new UK dramas for its upcoming premium BBC channel, which will see even more content disappear from Australian free-to-air channels and presumably iTunes and Quickflix.
Foxtel is certainly entitled to throw around its cash, but for every new subscriber these HBO and BBC deals win I suspect that several other viewers will finally turn to the BitTorrent channel to source their favourite shows. The fact Foxtel and HBO are blocking alternative fast-tracking efforts is likely to feed the resentment which helps many people justify downloading stuff without paying for it. One of my SMH readers recently compared illegally downloading TV shows to "reading the paper over someone's shoulder" -- no harm is done because they weren't going to buy it anyway. It's much easier to not see it as "stealing" when you feel you've been robbed of legitimate alternatives from the likes of iTunes and Quickflix.
Game of Thrones' season three premiere broke BitTorrent records this month, with Australians leading the charge on a per capita basis. Locking season four away on Foxtel isn't going to help in the war on piracy. Until content providers find new ways to strike a fair deal with viewers, Game of Thrones is always going to be a BitTorrent blockbuster.
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I wanted Foxtel on my iPad only - but you can't subscribe to that without a physical connection in your home - which I don't want.
I used to dl GOT but this season I have been paying to get the eps from iTunes because they are available QUICKLY, and in HD. (Something they should have been doing last year). I am never, ever going to pay $100 a month to get a couple of shows I really like. I will just go back to downloading next year, with no qualms at all.
HBO can make some money from people like me by supplying content to meet demand in a timely manner, or not. The choice is theirs. Clinging to old distribution models for dear life is foolish. The audience is in control now and they're way ahead of them. That audience isn't going to go back, it's too late for that, the horse has well and truly bolted.
If I was to watch GoT on Foxtel it will cost me $75 extra for the time GoT is on. I will not have the episodes to keep.
"Forced" LOL. Like they're stopping you from breathing air or feeding your children.
Get some perspective you troglodytes.
The world is shrinking. The power balance has shifted towards consumer preference. Accessibility is paramount here, but instead of embracing the change with open minds they tighten their first to control. Some things about human nature never change.