Despite the push from TV providers to make Game of Thrones more accessible legally, the seventh season has been illegally downloaded or streamed more than one billion times worldwide.
In Australia, Foxtel pushed for viewers to watch the show via their remodeled streaming application.
The cable TV company launched Foxtel Now, which offered entry level “packs” for as low as $10 per month, Game of Thrones featured in both the Drama and Pop packs, which cost $15 per month.
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It was the first time Foxtel threw its hat in the ring to compete with other streaming services like Stan and Netflix, and the venture into new lands, much like Jon Snow’s trip north of the wall, wasn’t perfect.
From the first episode fans were angry with the streaming service.
When you get FOXTEL Now so that you can legally watch #GoT and then it doesn’t even load. I’ll go back to illegally obtaining it then
— Bleepity Bloop (@jveetz) July 17, 2017
— Mena (@alldaymena) July 17, 2017
According to reports from anti-piracy group MUSO, the seven episodes in season seven averaged 14.7 billion illegal views through to September 3.
Within 72 hours of its initial broadcast, the premiere episode was downloaded more than 90 million times and the season’s finale streamed more than 120 million times within its first 72 hours.
With the eighth and final season not expected until 2019 there will be plenty of time to cut down on illegal streams and torrents as well as introduce a host of improvements to the legal ways to watch the show.
But there’s something to remember if you’re tempted to delve into the chaos of illegal downloads.
“Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”