Game of Thrones Season 7 premiered on Sunday. However, Australian fans of the highly anticipated HBO show were disappointed, as the online streaming platform Foxtel Now crashed due to heavy traffic. Meanwhile, reports suggest that a huge number of GoT fans are depending on illegal torrent download to watch S07E01, aka “Dragonstone.”
Everything was fine for Australian viewers who managed to watch the premiere episode on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET (11.30 a.m. AEST on Monday in Australia). However, the trouble started when Foxtel’s IPTV service rebroadcast Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 at 6:30 a.m. ET on Monday (8.30 p.m. AEST in Australia). The online streaming platform apparently crashed due to “unprecedented demand.”
Game of Thrones happens to be the most-illegally downloaded TV show of all time and Australia is one of the leading countries where people heavily depend on websites like The Pirate Bay for illegal torrents of the HBO drama. People are apparently willing to ignore the fact that they would risk getting infected by Cerber ransomware while visiting sites like TPB, as it happened last year.
Frustrated viewers used the hashtag #winterisbuffering, as they wondered why it was impossible to watch GoT S07E01 legally in Australia. For some of them, such technical setbacks are to be blamed for the high demand of illegal torrents. At this moment, Australians can watch the show legally only on Foxtel Now.
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Fans seemed unconvinced by the quick apology from the streaming platform. Many of them insisted that Foxtel Now should have anticipated the high demand of the show. According to CNET, the crash pushed many GoT fans to download illegal torrents of the premiere episode.
“The night is dark and full of torrents.”
Since Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 1, fans have heavily depended on illegal torrents. Last year, the Season 6 Episode 1 torrent was downloaded a million times within a few hours. According to Torrent Freak, Australia ruled the number of illegal downloads, with India, the USA and the UK following it.
There is a growing trend of downloading the HDrip version of the show. People earlier preferred the 480p version. Now, more people are downloading the 720p and 1080p versions, despite the fact that those come in much larger sizes.
According to the Daily Express, around 3.7 million Britons were expected to watch the HBO show illegally. A survey revealed that more than 20 percent of viewers admitted to either downloading the torrent or getting it from a friend.
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