When it comes to online piracy of HBO's "Game of Thrones," Australia is the leading country in downloading pirated "GoT" content. After HBO's decision to handover the rights to telecast "Game of Thrones" to Foxtel, Australia might go on The Pirate Bay way.
Australian "Game of Thrones" lovers have been lucky to access the show legally for the past few years. In the U.S., Pay TV broadcasted the show first and, also it came to iTunes a day later in Australia. Fans in Australia were able to watch the show legally through the pay-per-episode concept instead of paying a large monthly fee. However, in 2014, Foxtel will have the rights to distribution (digitally as well as traditional broadcasts).
According to Brisbane Times, iTunes and Quickflix would not be able to provide any "Game of Thrones" season 4 episodes until Foxtel has not broadcasted the complete series.
While Quickflix will be streaming "Game of Thrones" season 4 after the last episode airs on Foxtel, but Apple's iTunes are not sure at the moment.
Brian Walsh, director of television for Foxtel views the deal as a "big coup." Foxtel tells Brisbane Times that viewers can also watch "Game of Thrones" season 4 online through a Foxtel Play online subscription, which is comparatively cheaper.
According to Brisbane Times, this HBO-Foxtel deal is a major step backwards in the war to curb piracy in Australia. People might resort to downloading the latest "Game of Thrones" season 4 episodes through file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay. However, Foxtel believes that the fast-tracking deals help in eradicating online piracy.
HBO announced late last year that "GoT" would be made available via U.S. Google Play Store. However, it won't have the fast-track deal as it shows season 3 for playback on February 17, 2014.
Only time will tell, if folks in Australia would go for Foxtel or The Pirate Bay or BitTorrent for watching "Game of Thrones" season 4 which airs April 7 on Showcase in the U.S.
To contact the editor, e-mail: