Foxtel points finger at HBO for Game of Thrones season premiere bungle

 abc.net.au  7/18/2017 12:40:28 AM 

Posted July 18, 2017 10:40:28

Foxtel is shifting the blame to HBO for Monday night's bungled Game of Thrones premiere, saying the US broadcaster was responsible for a worldwide technical glitch.

Customers tuned in to Foxtel's streaming service Foxtel Now to watch the much-anticipated seventh season premiere, only to be met with an error message.

Foxtel said in a statement it was devastated that its apps crashed due to unprecedented demand before issuing another statement shifting the blame to HBO.

"Tonight's global premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones has caused technical glitches around the world, with online sites crashing in the United States, Latin America and Australia," the statement said.

"The show's producer and US broadcaster, HBO, reported its technical systems could not cope and in Australia, the surge of demand for Foxtel's recently launched online product, Foxtel Now, also experienced customer meltdown."

The Hollywood Reporter reported HBO's main website was down during the premiere episode. Another service called HBO Now was not loading and the network admitted there were outages in Latin America too.

Foxtel, the company that owns the rights to show Game of Thrones first in Australia, confirmed its services including Foxtel Now, Play and the Foxtel App had gone down.

"We are devastated that some customers experienced technical issues tonight," Foxtel spokesman Bruce Meagher said.

"We assure anyone impacted that they will be able to watch the first episode of Season 7 either On Demand or via one of our encore screenings throughout the week."

Foxtel threatens copyright infringers despite failing to deliver service

Game of Thrones fans of vented their frustration on social media, criticising Foxtel for failing to prepare for what is arguably the most anticipated television event of the year.

Foxtel says an average of 1.2 million Australians watched each episode of season six.

Matthew Rimmer, professor of intellectual property and innovation law at the Queensland University of Technology, told AM there had been concern about relatively high prices Australians pay for IT products and services.

All the while Australian copyright holders are taking action against sites promoting copyright infringement.

"There has been a long history of efforts by Foxtel and others to bring copyright action, particularly in relation to Game of Thrones," Dr Rimmer told AM.

"Foxtel were one of the ones along with Roadshow who had lobbied the Australian Government for special new powers to block sites that were accused of facilitating copyright infringement.

Dr Rimmer said Australian Game of Thrones fans were in revolt and rebellion after the streaming service's failure.

"So after many Australians trying to do the right thing had signed up to this subscription, they then discovered that the service failed to show them the first episode of the seventh season," he said.

"There were some pathetic little apologies from Foxtel that they had technical faults around the world last night, and they are working with their broadcast partners to resolve the issue, but there was a deep dissatisfaction from Australian consumers."

Mr Meagher said Foxtel would be working overtime to make sure the problem does not happen again.

He has warned people not to turn back to copyright infringement.

Last year Time magazine declared Game of Thrones as the show with the most illegal downloads worldwide.

Topics: arts-and-entertainment, television, internet-technology, internet-culture, australia

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