Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  HBO to put Game of Thrones online – the dawn of a new age?

HBO to put Game of Thrones online – the dawn of a new age?

Pay TV giant HBO finally plans to offer online-only subscriptions in the US, which could have repercussions for viewers in Australia and around the world.

Despite the growing competition from online rivals like Netflix and Hulu, HBO has held out against the rise of internet video. It has reserved its HBO Go streaming service for US customers who have a home HBO subscription, in order to fight back against the cable-cutting trend. That’s set to change next year when HBO launches a new online-only service which doesn’t require a home subscription.

The reason why HBO could hold out against the online competition for so long is that it controls some of the world’s most popular shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and True Detective. You won’t find these shows on Netflix. As in Australia, the only legit way in the US to watch new episodes of Game of Thrones week by week is to sign up for pay TV.

In Australia, Foxtel has already embraced the internet. It launched the Foxtel Play subscription service a few years ago, which lets you watch premium content like Game of Thrones online each week even if you don’t have a home Foxtel subscription. HBO won’t extend its new streaming service to Australia, because Foxtel has already paid top dollar for the local streaming rights. Even so, you can be sure that some Australians will try to sneak into the new American HBO online service, they way they already sneak into Netflix.

The new HBO online service is likely to be cheaper than Foxtel Play, judging by the HBO Nordic streaming service which was launched earlier this year. It won’t just be Australians trying to bluff their way into HBO’s US online service, it will be people from all around the world if it works out cheaper than signing up for their local equivalent to Foxtel Play.

People will be even more determined to sneak into HBO now that rivals like iTunes and Google Play can’t offer new Game of Thrones episodes for sale until HBO and Foxtel have finished screening the entire season.

Even if HBO’s streaming service doesn’t officially launch in Australia, it’s still going to cause tension with partners like Foxtel who pay top dollar for the rights to shows like Game of Thrones. HBO will certainly try harder than Netflix to keep out foreigners, but there’s no foolproof way to keep everyone out.

In the short-term HBO isn’t going to abandon partners like Foxtel, because Foxtel offers the easiest way to squeeze money out of Australia, but the day will eventually come when HBO decides to cut out the middleman and go direct to the public around the world.

When that day comes it will be much harder for traditional pay TV players like Foxtel to get away with forcing customers to pay for expensive packages just so they can watch a handful of TV shows. Foxtel Play is certainly a step in the right direction, but Foxtel will need to keep changing with the times if it wants to survive in the internet age.

Share

Recent News

Apple recently released the latest in its long running line of MacBook Pro laptops. While Apple has somewhat muddied the water around what it means by “Pro” with the release of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max phones, in the laptop space, they’re very definitely meant for folks who need… More 

Social Media can have profound effects – for good or bad – on the lives of many people, but what do you if your name is, say, Roger Smith or something equally common and you want to make yourself easily locatable on the biggest social media platforms? The chances are that another Roger Smith has… More 

Google is a company most closely related to search and search-based products, which is why it’s nearly always teetering on the edge of becoming a verb in its own right. Plenty of folk don’t even think of it as “searching” — they simply “Google” their queries day in, day out. Search isn’t all that Google… More 

This week we’ll see the local Australian launch of Disney+, the latest in a very long line of streaming subscription services. While there’s still clearly a place in Australian homes for free to air television (at least for live events such as sports), it’s also clear that on-demand streaming services delivered over a home broadband… More