Foxtel bets on Game of Thrones

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 13 April 2015
Game of Thrones.

Foxtel is doubling down on Game of Thrones as the lure for subscribers, extending Foxtel Play for both selected smart TVs and the Xbox One as today's season five premiere draws ever closer.

Foxtel Play is Foxtel's pay-per-view business, where customers can sign up for packages on a selective basis with no contract signed.

Today it announced that the Foxtel Play app would be available for both selected smart TVs and the Xbox One, as it attempts to widen the scope of people using Foxtel Play as the over-the-top service of choice for Game of Thrones.

Foxtel's subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) platform Presto was dealt a blow by HBO when the US network decided to keep Game of Thrones off the Australian SVOD platform, instead reserving worldwide SVOD rights for its own service, HBO Now.

HBO Now is not available to Australian consumers, but is available via Apple TV in the US. A representative from Apple in Australia previously confirmed to AdNews that it would not be available in Australia.

However, this also means that the new season of Game of Thrones is exclusive to Foxtel, with Foxtel heavily marketing that fact in recent weeks.

However, that exclusivity could be somewhat blunted by the fact that the first five episodes of the series were leaked online over the weekend.

The expansion of the Foxtel Play service, using Game of Thrones as a carrot, would indicate that Foxtel is making a play for more users who may be keen to avoid a lock-in contract.

Instead of losing them to subscription video on demand platforms such as Netflix or Stan, Play enable Foxtel to keep those customers on the books.

A focus on Game of Thrones was confirmed by Foxtel lowering the price of its Premium Movies and Drama package, which includes the massively popular HBO program, to $30 per month for the first three months, down from $45.

Given that season five of the program runs until 21 June, this would cover the entire season.

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