If you want to be among the first to (legally) watch Game of Thrones in the UK, you’ll need to get Sky or Now TV… and stay up ‘til 2:00am.
Both Sky Atlantic and Sky’s on-demand subscription service Now TV are showing new episodes of HBO’s hit fantasy show at the same time they’re being broadcast in the US.
Traditionally, British Thrones fans weren’t able to watch new episodes of the show until a day later but with the exception of last week’s first episode, every dose of season five will be broadcast at the same time as folks in the States get it.
For those of us with day jobs and regular sleeping patterns, Sky Atlantic will broadcast the show at the usual 9:00pm slot.
While the first four episodes of the new series have leaked, they’re in a low-quality SD format. Sky broadcasts Game of Thrones in Full HD, while the maximum resolution possible via Now TV – whether that’s through a games console or a Now TV Box – is 720p HD.
All episodes of Game of Thrones shown to date, from seasons 1-4, are currently available on catch-up through Sky’s On Demand menu and Now TV.
It’s not been confirmed yet, but it’s likely that Google Play, Blinkbox and Wuaki.tv will pick up the new season once it’s finished airing. These streaming services have all picked up previous runs of Thrones and we’ve heard nothing to suggest that these relationships won’t be renewed.
Game of Thrones holds the dubious honour of being the most-pirated TV show of all time. Following the recent leaks, TorrentFreak reports that HBO has sent out thousands of
ravens letters to fans whose connections were used to share the episodes.
Providing multiple alternatives to piracy is a strategy HBO is keen to pursue, so we’d expect that once the series has completed its TV run, there will be multiple, legit ways to watch your favourite fantasy show.
Sky Atlantic is included with every package of Sky TV channels, including the entry-level Original Bundle which costs £21.50/month. To get Sky Atlantic in HD, you’ll need the Family Bundle which costs £36/month. To get Game of Thrones on Now TV, you’ll need an Entertainment Pass, which currently costs £6.99/month.