With a new season of Game of Thrones less than three weeks away, research from comparison site Finder.com.au suggests that Australians are once again likely to become the world’s most prolific pirates of the show.
The only legal way to watch the show at the same time as the rest of the world will be through pay-TV platform Foxtel, either with a full subscription or a month-to-month streaming ‘Foxtel Now’ deal.
Finder suggests that 30 per cent of Australians planning to watch the show will take advantage of its inevitable availability through pirate sites and illicit web streaming services.
According to Finder, 32 per cent of respondents to its latest survey said they were planning to watch the show at all, which equates to some 6 million Australians when extrapolated to the whole population. This makes more than two million pirates, although viewing parties, shared copies and duplicated files means multiple people will benefit from each video downloaded or streamed illicitly.
Australians fans of the show have, in the past, sought to justify have explained their illegal viewing by suggesting that obtaining legitimate access to the show is difficult, particularly when compared with American viewers. However, Alex Kidman Finder’s telco editor, doesn’t believe such excuses are justified. “While there’s a sense of entitlement amongst many viewers, the reality is that a series like Game of Thrones costs actual money to produce, and it’s up to HBO to work out how and where it wants to sell it,” he notes. “We’ve seen Foxtel gradually erode its pricing structure around the series to better and better value levels over the years that the series has run, so the excuses around pricing are getting increasingly hollow.”
Finder’s research indicates that 32 per cent of Game of Thrones watchers will view the show via a full Foxtel subscription, 12 per cent will access it through Foxtel Now and 26 per cent will wait until it is available from a digital storefront.