Foxtel Now Was The First Game Of Thrones Casualty

Image: HBO / Game of Thrones

Who would have expected that the first death during the seventh season of Game of Thrones would be the pay TV network charged with distributing it digitally around Australia?

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Foxtel Now, the revamped IPTV component of the pay TV network that recently got an HD streaming upgrade, fell over tonight when it came around to Game of Thrones o'clock.

Internet Outages shows a massive jump for outage reports for Foxtel since 6PM today, and that can only be attributed to one thing: the massive surge in customers trying to log on, some for the first time, to watch the 8:30PM broadcast of Game of Thrones.

Here's some honest feedback from one of our (understandably annoyed) readers, who emailed in to share their displeasure:

Dear Foxtel, if you are reading this, hire some capacity planners. Unprecedented demand should have been planned for when you are the sole owner of the license for distribution of the most popular TV show ever?

You finally give us the chance to come clean and legally try to watch a show, but then fall flat because of capacity issues which should have been foreseen.

If you don't pile on the number of servers to properly cater for capacity THIS WEEK with all the money in your coffers, i daresay that many wont give you a second chance after next week. All those 2 week free memberships will not come back as paying customers, and you wont have anyone else to blame.

Regards, unhappy new subscriber who may or may not have to revert back to 'other methods'.

And, of course, Twitter is ablaze with the wildfire of angry internet commenters:

Foxtel then issued an apology through Facebook, and made a similar statement in a press release that shared blame with the show's producer 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 show’s producer and U.S. 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."


    to be fair HBO also had problems. that said it's hilarious that it's 2017 and companies are still underestimating IT infrastructure for their core products.

    I mean just look at FFXIV SB launch, it was hardly smooth by any measures and it certainly didn't help they were getting hammered by DDoS

    Yes I purchased Seasons 1-6 in HD from XBox Live on the weekend. Great discount - all 6 seasons for less than $120.00 (probably too late for you!).

    Massive GoT session but not even close to halfway through watching this MARVELLOUS show.

    S7EP1? Just downloaded via TOR. When it is for SALE I will add the season to my collection. No Foxtel No Google or Apple - just XBox Live which is free (yes Gold is extra) will pay till the day I die. And works.

    Do I feel bad for downloading it? Well at the time YES. But after seeing how "legitimate" viewers were denied seeing it - not so much. Not at all really. I laugh at thee.

    HBO need to make it EASIER not harder to purchase such fine content.

    Last edited 18/07/17 10:24 am

      I hope you didn't buy each season individually. They had a complete season 1 to 6 for only $75.

    Heh, the totally legal not-Foxtel stream I watched worked fine ;)

    What Foxtel needs to realise is that Steam and Netflix beat piracy by offering a more convenient and strictly better services than the pirates ever could - all at reasonable prices.

      Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if companies like Foxtel (and Sky in NZ) competed on service rather than content.

      Whaaaaaattt? Providing a better service leads to more people using your service! say it aint so!

      I thought the norm was to treat customers like shit, Provide a crappy product and they will flock, Thats what foxtel thinks anyway.

    So how were the less-legal sources for GoT coping? Were they able to keep up with this supposedly unprecedented demand?

    This is total bullshit. Foxtel have been bleating about piracy for years. Don't sit there and say you didn't know how much demand there would be when you've been complaining for years about how many people were pirating the show. If you knew how many people were torrenting it, then you knew how much demand there was for it and should have catered for that demand.

      There is layers to it though, firstly Foxtel thinks we're all scummy pirates and their previous offering was perfect, we'd never pay for anything regardless of the convenience.

      However, their shareholders probably demanded they try the 'Netflix option', but no doubt probably for the lowest cost to the company possible. This is most likely why we have the 2 weeks free. They use week one to gauge the demand and risk the negative press, upscale to meet the demand in week 2 and then hope that users stick around after the trial.

      If people don't stick around after the trial, well Foxtel are just proven 'right' (in their minds) and we're all just scummy pirates and you only wanted it for free.

    it wasnt just foxtel and GOT that got overloaded

    telstra NBN customers couldnt use any internet properly

      And yet people still give the overpriced Telstra their money... I had more issues with Telstra in the 1 year I was with them than the 4 years I was with Dodo.

        im with myrepublic, and get better service than telstra for half the price

        Meanwhile where I live out of my friends I'm the only one on telstra. And the only one who doesn't have issues with their nbn. Only one who gets anywhere near the speeds I pay for and the least amount of outages

    "Other methods" worked fine for me! I'll keep subscribing to 1080p on USB.

    Was a little surprised there was no 4k version of the episodes around. No one in the world streaming it legally in 4k?

    Purchased Foxtel Now a month ago in preparation for last night. Invited people and we couldn't watch it.

    Luckily I was able to get the Amazon Web rip.

    Canceling Foxtel Now today. Idiots.

      Legit Foxtel version ruined the Hodor ep by overriding the end music with upbeat adverts for the next show.

    What can you expect from Foxtel?

    Oh.. you paid them money for a service that they have been heavily promoting?

    Think this was bad for Foxtel? Wait until GoT ends in a bit. The huge amount of users who begrudgingly paid those inadmissible fees just to watch that show that they were holding hostage will leave in droves immediately after. It will be like losing the dirt you had on someone you were extorting. People will not just leave out of boredom; they will recoil away in spite.

    There's plenty of capacity (backbone) here in Australia, its just many of the ISPs run their business model to the breaking point and wait until the networks literally crumble before upgrading, which is just a flick of the digital switch for the most part.

    Just bad business practices and ethics... not much can be done, it is the way these cutthroats run the companies.

      The NBN's wholesale pricing scheme doesn't help. It discourages purchasing excess bandwidth by maintaining backhaul prices regardless of bulk rather than offering discounts on bulk to ensure RSPs purchase enough to cover peak operational demand. As a result, unless RSPs charge significantly higher, it is not a viable business strategy to avoid congestion, but rather to simply cover the average and make the customers suck it up by claiming "you only get UP TO the speed you pay for, other conditions may affect speed received".

    Personally have Had Foxtel now since day 1. No issues at all. Apart from the sometimes 30 minute delay on live tv.
    Works great with the chromeast ultra.

    Had no issues at all last night. Stated watching around 7pm, loaded fine. Didn't stop. Don't know what everyone's problem is.

      Good for you...

      'Don't know what everyone's problem is.' wow, Ignorance level - extreme.

      "I did not have any problems, Therefore anyone elses problems are invalid and did not happen" - agentofevil, Dumbest post of 2017

    I haven't really been following exactly what Foxtel is offering here since I'm pretty slack with watching things like GoT anyway ... are they offering these streams only during specific timeframes, like you would with a traditional TV service? If so, it seems like they brought this on themselves by forcing everyone to use the service at the exact same time rather than letting people access it when it was most convenient for them.

      Foxtel Now is video on demand like Netflix. That said, you're going to get similar "prime time"-like peaks in usage, since many people will want to watch the episode in the evening of the day it was released.

        I thought as much but some things I had read earlier mentioned stream "broadcast" and "encore" times, which made me wonder what the hell they were thinking if it wasn't actually on demand.

      I don't have Foxtel Now, but from what I can tell it's a 2-part system. One part is 'On Demand' content that can be stream at any time, at 1080p. This is movies & whole TV series. The other part (which is the part that applies to GoT) is 'Live Streaming' of their channels, which only supports 720p. This means as opposed to allowing people to stream the episode from its airdate onwards, every subscriber had to choose one of the 2 showing times on the channel.

      Last edited 18/07/17 5:18 pm

    I watched it on demand last night and while I didn't have the terrible problems as everyone else did. I couldn't help but notice the terrible quality of the stream in comparison with shows I watched directly before on Stan. It was like watching Game of Thrones Minecraft Edition. They need to lift their game if they are going to maintain subscriber levels. Tut tut.

    Felt good cancelling my sub today.

      You know what feels better? Never giving them money in the first place :)

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