back to article IT pricing inquiry sparks Game of Thrones for rights-holders

Australia's recently-released report resulting from an inquiry into IT pricing has opened a can of worms beyond its intended target that should spark renewed debate on Australia's anti-siphoning laws. The anti-siphoning laws mean pay television operators can't buy rights to broadcast certain sports until free-to-air television …

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Massive fail for foxtel.

As someone who is happy to pay for the media I consume, I downloaded all three seasons of GoT through iTunes. This deal will not make me take out an overpriced Foxtel subscription. I will investigate how to access GoT by getting around geoblocking. If all else fails, just about everyone I know gets GoT via pirated copies so I can still access it that way (but I'd prefer to give HBO my money).

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bep

There is another problem apart from price. The conventional channels, which now include Foxtel, are simply not the best source for this content. They interrupt the shows with adds, they put station logos on the screen, they run tickers for the next program at the most dramatic moment in the program etc. In the digital age, if you are the best source for your own content, you own the content. Otherwise, people will run the risk of viruses and trojans in order to get a 'clean feed'.

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Eyeroll

And they wonder why people "pirate" content.

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Same as USA

In the USA (where 'Game of Thrones' is broadcast by the producer HBO first) iTunes does not carry the season until the final episode has aired. HBO does this with their other shows too (True Blood, Dexter, etc), but not all other channels do. So this change puts Australia and the US on the same footing.

I'd like to see some journalist do an in-depth analysis on the profitability of digital sales channels for different cable-produced TV sales models, eg: CW and ABC (iTunes and Cable) vs. HBO (iTunes after Cable). I suspect the choice is a lot more difficult than it first appears. i.e.: the executives at HBO have to compare the cash-in-the-hand-up-front that Foxtel will offer them to the tailing-revenue-if-you-can-manage-to-sell-it that Apple offer.

Perhaps if more people had purchased GoT Season 3 through iTunes it would have been easier for HBO executives to have had confidence in a profitable outcome - instead I saw a constant stream of hate-speech from freetards asserting their right to not pay anything like the per-episode fees or season pass of iTunes (as set by HBO).

Why am I suddenly reminded of school. There are six of us enjoying the class/lecture/assignment/excursion but 34 classmates misbehaving so it's called off and we're all forced to sit in a classroom with our hands on our heads. It does NOT affect the behaviour of the rowdy mob, it affects the behaviour of the previously-well-behaved.

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

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Unhappy

Re: Same as USA

I agree, however, it seems they based their financial calcs on only the one season. It's very hard to change people's behaviour in that timeframe. I torrented the first episodes of Season 3 before I even realised they were available immediately on iTunes. It seems I will now have to go back to torrenting for Season 4 and buy the season retrospectively (if/when the day comes when I'm feeling particularly altruistic and happen to have the spare cash (as recently happened for Seasons 1 & 2)). I suspect the freetard self-justifications would have died out after a further season or two of legal availability - instead we'll get a lot of 'told you so...'s.

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Happy

Re: Same as USA

Spoilers, if you've not seen season 1. Just in case lol.

I think the key difference here is HBO are the producers of the show. Foxtel are distributors. I would still think the iTunes release could be managed with a little more granularity in this day and age. Especially if you are selling the season pass.

HBO know their stuff. Convert long running book series with established fan base in strong concert with the authors. Character actors rather than big names (in the US anyway, lots of tasty british talent). It's like the BBC, only with more nudity and homosexuality. I mean, it's like the BBC, only it broadcasts more nudity and homosexuality :D

They pay attention to the fans, they seem to actively self parody, and set up the non fans. Having the big name actor get killed off (in an appropriately Borimir type arc. Oh Sean, stop doing the wrong things for the right reasons) is just the start. Characters have arcs, that often end in brutal bloody ways. Ones you care about, ones that are the classical hero stories. Because it fits the world, if you rise up your family tree gets pruned of sons. Bravery gets you killed, luck saves you. *grin* Besides, there's only 3 real protagonists*, and I'm not certain about one of them. Everyone else is mincemeat, be it frozen or burnt.

The fans buy the box sets even if they've torrented it. Or have it bought for them. I've introduced two family members to the series (as books, mutual interest in real worldish fantasy series) and while none of us has bought every book and every box set, we've got 1-2 of each. I technically own the whole series in trade paperback, but none are in my house at this moment :)

My crude understanding of content delivery is that yer physical boxset is still the biggest pay cheque (outside of US) and those are going to sell well enough (assuming show is passes fan approval). So Foxtel fees are on top of this.

I'd really like to see HBO offer some bundle package. Digital access to the show as it's released, which can expire, and the boxset. If the execs are so worried, they can test the damn water first.

The freetards will always be freetards. And noisy with it too. Your classroom example is poor, it only takes 1-2 to disrupt the room. Think of it like a movie theatre. You can pay for a ticket, or you can sneak in. I've known people who never paid to watch a movie in a theatre for years, yet the complex he'd do it to was doing well while the other 2 chain cinemas nearby went bust. Most people paid, or just not comfortable at the idea that where stealing. Also didn't impact when they sold out, since they assigned seating then. Freetard got his free movies, movie theatre still sells enough tickets to pay for movies, and makes money on overpriced popcorn and services (nicer seats with unlimited popcorn, drinks and snacks delivered including booze)

I would be interested in how HBO calculates the value of something like GoT. Obviously there's what it's flogging the show itself for through the various formats, but how much extra advertising does GoT bring in to HBO? How much brand value does GoT add to HBO?

This might sound a bit harsh as I do love the beeb, but I would be happier if I heard my favorite series was being done by HBO than the BBC. I'll get 10+ shows a year for 5+ years, vs 4-6 shows 2-3 times.

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