TEST OF DE­FENCES

Townsville Bulletin - - ENTERTAINMENT -

be higher for the first episode of the show’s sev­enth ( and al­most fi­nal) sea­son.

Put plainly, there’s no other show on the planet with as much hype. It’s no sur­prise that it’s con­sis­tently the most il­le­gally down­loaded show in Aus­tralia.

Il­le­gal down­loads have been a big prob­lem in the past for the folks at Fox­tel. As the only le­git­i­mate way to watch the show in Oz ( other than wait­ing for DVDs to come out), they were los­ing a motza from peo­ple find­ing al­ter­na­tive ways to ac­cess it. Fox­tel Now was sup­posed to be the an­swer. To say there was a lot rid­ing on it is an un­der­state­ment. But as we know by now, things didn’t quite pan out the way they hoped. De­mand was so high that the sys­tem had a melt­down and the fans fol­lowed suit.

It’s no se­cret that in the tele­vi­sion stream­ing game, Net­flix is the one to beat. It’s built a ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion among view­ers with the qual­ity and range of its con­tent, user- friendly sys­tem, and rel­a­tively low monthly sub­scrip­tion cost. To date, no Aus­tralian com­peti­tor has even come close to match­ing it.

The most dis­ap­point­ing thing about the problems with the Game of Thrones pre­miere is that Fox­tel Now ac­tu­ally got so much right. I was pretty crit­i­cal of its pre­de­ces­sor, Fox­tel Play. Its in­ter­face was clunky as hell, and made the sim­ple act of just find­ing the right episode of a show a night­mare.

The same could be said for the Fox­tel’s joint ef­fort with Seven — the ill- fated Presto ( al­though it had an ex­cel­lent range of con­tent, and a price tag that was more in line with Net­flix and Stan’s).

But Fox­tel Now doesn’t have those same is­sues. It’s the clos­est to Net­flix’s easy nav­i­ga­tion as any­one’s come so far, and the range of con­tent I saw when I had a browse

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