Foxtel Now angers with crash on Game of Thrones' big night

Last night’s outage during Game of Thrones has turned most Foxtel social media accounts into the equivalent of the ‘Red Wedding’. We look at how the consumer law comes into effect in situations like this one.

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Just wondering if this is a first world problem. Yes, the service may not have delivered Game of Thrones when devoted fans wanted to watch it on the nominated premier date, but wouldn’t watching it a day or two later also be okay and would also meet the delivery service.

I haven’t read the conditions associated with delivery of Foxtel (or other streaming) services, but I expect that they would not guarantee the delivery of a program on the date that it is supposed to premier. Such would be problematic especially if a production is delayed for some reason or the delivery date is different to that announced early in its production.

It could also be seen as a ‘force majeure’ if the above is incorrect.


It is an interesting world where such things become as or more important than life problems. At least these “devoted fans” did not queue outside in the winter rains for the opportunity to buy the first [insert your favourite overpriced overhyped product or ticket]. Such are the times and the values of some people. That being written, you can probably hear many of us cross country screaming when our internet service fails for more than a minute :slight_smile:


Part of the issue with the time of delivery is that spoilers appear relatively quickly for this show, which can really detract from the experience that consumers have paid to experience. Unfortunately, not everyone can avoid the water cooler or stay offline to avoid the issue either. There’s also value for many fans in the experience of being the first to see something, which was also forfeit.

While it may seem like a small problem, there is a bigger issue at play. Entertainment companies have threatened aggressive legal action and lobbied government to create various forms of internet censorship for a number of years in an attempt punish individuals who breach copyright. At the same time, we’ve observed that content can often be unavailable, delayed or only available at an inflated or arguably unreasonable price, which is probably one reason why Australia is a world leader in piracy.

We’ve campaigned on the issue for a number of years (some brief history here). In short, we’ve called for strong protections for consumers and for governments and entertainment companies to address the drivers behind piracy, including providing timely, affordable content. Companies should also be ready to compensate consumers when they fail to deliver their product in the way that was promised.

We’re always interested to hear from consumers on these issues, so please tell us how you feel in the comments here (and thanks to @phb and @PhilT for the discussion so far :thumbsup:).


Yes, and furthermore when Foxtel have an exclusive licence to stream/broadcast GOT in Australia surely they have a responsibility to actually do this (it’s not as if consumers have a legal alternative).

If you do want to watch and remunerate the producers, I’d recommend signing up for a US iTunes account and stocking it up with a US itunes gift card and subscribing to HBONOW.


It may be a First World Issue but when you pay your money at a First World Rate then you should be given a First World Experience.

If I lived where there was no internet, TV or Communications system I likely wouldn’t expect the same results as where I do get them. Nor in the former would I be paying as much to live as in the latter, though % wise of my income I might be.

Everything is relative and in this country we have an expectation of receiving what we have paid for, as I am sure everyone in the world feels the same about, and there are laws here that are meant to ensure this. When you pay for something and then receive less in value than you have paid for this is just not a First World issue but rather is an issue about fair value in return for fair payment and that issue is not about where you live.


I am with those who are wondering what the fuss is about.

I considered in advance the best time to complete our online census form and decided about two days later would be the least painful with little or no chance of error. That is what I did and the petulance of all those who couldn’t do it instantly at 7PM on the night went right over my head.

The whole point about streaming services is you can watch what you want when you want it. That doesn’t mean the service is no good because the delivery system couldn’t cope on one night.

Do we really expect these systems to have enough headroom to handle any amount of congestion? How much are you prepared to pay for such a service so that you can get instant gratification 366 days per year instead of 363? Sure the vendor ought not promise things they cannot deliver but customers would save much heartburn if they had more realistic expectations of the service. Jumping up and down on the spot because you MUST have the latest episode the hour it is released is childish.

I get the point that if popular shows are dribbled out here months or years after release overseas it encourages piracy but does a few hours matter? To me that problem is not relevant to this issue.


Totally agree with you @syncretic
Foxtel screwed up and have had more than enough negative publicity as a result.

I’m happy to wait more than a day or two - I’ll probably wait a few weeks and have the option of watching an episode or two at a time.

I have illegally downloaded GOT in the past this year we decided to get a Foxtel Now account as my objection was pricing and access. Was very surprised to discover that I cant plug my ipad into the tv using a hdmi cable, Foxtel Now shuts down when you do this, couldn’t speak to tech support as the rest of Australia was trying to do the same. Thank god for internet forums for advice, had to buy a Chromecast for mirroring and this week we decided to skip Monday viewing to avoid the hooha of last week. I ended up downloading last weeks episode, luckily still in my two weeks free trial, but will be cancelling my subscription if things don’t improve

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Fox+Tel => “Foxtel is owned by Telstra Corporation Ltd (50%) and The News Corporation Ltd (50%).” nb. One of Newscorp’s main brands is Fox.

They are historically two of the most customer friendly businesses in the land that are eager to please regardless of the effect on profitability. (/satire font)

So the surprise about anyone’s user experience or the price/performance of their product offer is [?].

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It’s been some time since I cut the (satellite) “cable” and ditched FoxTel - have they made their service price point good value nowadays?

We used to pay them $65+ every single month just to watch major league baseball (MLB) however one year after much research I decided to try streaming. Works fine (well enough - streaming isn’t always perfect). We now pay about $120 per YEAR to watch 5-7 games/week during the season.

If FoxTel had something of comparable value (say $50 / year for a season of one show, once a week, for GoT) I’d seriously consider it.

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