The expansion of Netflix into a global giant with a name that’s become part of popular culture has been phenomenal to watch. Tens of millions of people sit down every day, fire up a Netflix app, and drink from the well of TV and movie content that’s all there for instant streaming. Along with shows and movies from across the wide spectrum of networks and production companies, there’s Netflix’s own original content, acclaimed and awarded titles that keep people watching.
But what is arguably the world’s most popular drama series, Game of Thrones, is still not listed in the Netflix library, despite its first season now being six years old. Will Netflix ever get hold of this hugely popular show, and are there other affordable Game of Thrones streaming options available?
HBO and Netflix are Unlikely Rivals
A powerhouse in the world of digital entertainment, Netflix has the reach and the budget to get hold of pretty much any show they want. But when it comes to Game of Thrones, the show’s creator and owner, HBO, isn’t selling. The reason for this undoubtedly goes back a few years to the days when, in the US, cable TV was king and HBO was at the top of the heap. A “premium” channel renowned as the place to find top-quality shows, it takes pride in its creations, which are aired without ad breaks or on-screen watermarks. It’s movie-quality TV; Six Feet Under, True Blood, Rome, The Sopranos, The Wire – and, of course, Game of Thrones. Nowhere else was there a service filled with so much high-quality entertainment.
Until the giant streaming service Netflix came along. While known up until a few years ago as a service where a diverse and huge range of the world’s TV was available for streaming, they saw the writing on the wall. HBO wasn’t going to sit back and let Netflix become the only streaming service in the game; they’d already given cable subscribers access to on-demand HBO shows with HBO Go, and it was only a matter of time before they opened it up as a stand-alone service. Netflix started producing its own high quality shows, with CEO Reed Hastings telling GQ Magazine in 2013, “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”
Nobody Streams HBO Except HBO
HBO did indeed launch its own streaming service a couple of years later – and with HBO Now in the picture in the US (and surely set to expand around the world), Netflix’s chances of getting hold of HBO content in any form reduced to zero from that day forward. Deals with huge companies such as Disney are no trouble at all for Netflix, but when it comes to HBO, it’s simply not going to happen.
It’s a shame for those in Australia, for now at least – unlike US fans, we don’t have the option of paying 20 bucks a month for HBO Now and streaming Game of Thrones in HD each week as it airs. But, luckily, there are other options at our disposal.
Your Options, for Now
For now, though, with Westeros and Netflix firmly locked inside their respective castles, you’re going to need to head to Foxtel for the new season, and iTunes, Google Play or your local Blu-ray retailer for the previous ones. If you want to get in front of the current season at a great price, you can – Foxtel Now offers the Drama and Pop packs at only $15/month each. And they both have showcase, the channel that airs Game of Thrones. Even better, get any of the packs (or both at a discount – $25/month) and you can catch up with season 1-6 on demand ar your own leisure. You can cancel your subscription anytime, so you can unsubscribe after the final cliffhanger if you want.
Stream Game of Thrones Live – Two Week Free Trial Offer
Eventually, you’ll be streaming Game of Thrones. But it won’t be through Netflix. In the meantime, though, Foxtel Now will make it possible; each week, a brand new episode will stream live from the US at 11:00 am AEST every Monday, with the showcase channel offering a Game of Thrones replay of this most recent episode that same Monday at 7:30 pm (Sydney time), with each episode available to stream on demand afterwards. Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 17.
You can try out Foxtel Now completely free for two weeks with no obligation with their special 14 day Free trial offer, too – which telecasts the Game of Thrones live online*. You can watch on PCs/Macs, Telstra TV, Chromecast and mobile devices minutes after signing up.
Six Shows to Watch When You Can’t Watch Game of Thrones
It seems everyone’s watching and talking about Game of Thrones right now – not surprising, considering it’s one of the world’s most-watched TV dramas. Each new season is eagerly anticipated by the show’s legion of fans, and not even a federal election can distract the faithful from analysing each week’s journey into Westeros.
But what do you do if you don’t have access to each new episode of Game of Thrones as it airs? Maybe you’ve decided you’d rather wait and buy the Blu-Ray when it comes out, maybe you’re waiting for it to appear as a full season on iTunes so you can binge-watch the entire thing in one sitting – or maybe you’re a few seasons behind and taking your time. There’s plenty of options to satisfy your craving for high drama – here’s just a few suggestions, all available on Netflix.
Whether you live in Westeros or the real world, dealing with family isn’t easy. This Netflix show follows a pretty dysfunctional family. Its members may not be bad people, but they did a bad thing. Will they suffer the consequences? Tune in to find out. Starring Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn.
Everyone is fighting for the Iron Throne, but did you ever wonder what will happen after someone actually gets it for good? This Netflix series follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. Starring Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Victoria Hamilton.
Santa Clarita Diet
The Ice Zombies in Game of Thrones are definitely scary. That’s not the case here. In this light-hearted comedy, the protagonist may crave human flesh, but she’s not going to lose her humanity. She and her husband’s lives do take a dark turn though, so we’re curious to see what happens next. Starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.
If you watch Game of Thrones for the action scenes, you’ll appreciate Daredevil. The series follows Matt Murdock, who fights crime as a blind lawyer by day and vigilante by night. Dark and twisty, just how you ordered it. Starring Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson.
When it comes to acclaimed and buzzy shows, Stranger Things can almost rival Game of Thrones. It’s first season was a huge success for Netflix, and you can binge it anytime in anticipation for season 2. The plot seems simple: when a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back. What comes next will leave you longing for more.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you’re looking to balance out the darkness of Game of Thrones with something light and funny, this is the perfect Netflix show for you. A woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts life over again in New York City. Starring Ellie Kemper.