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Westeros Blog: UK Sees Game of Thrones in April

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The Guardian is reporting that Sky—who recently secured exclusivee broadcast rights to HBO’s original programming—is launching a new high definition channel, Sky Atlantic, to feature HBO’s programs as well as Mad Men, which they recently scooped up from the BBC. The channel will cost £19 a month as part of the Sky Variety Pack, and will launch early in 2011.

Most interestingly, Sky reports that Game of Thrones is set to begin airing in April. This likely means the show will be airing no more than a month after it premieres in the United States.

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£19 a month? Is that for just the one channel or the total package? It's so expensive. In the states we get the whole HBO package of channels for like $15, seven or eight channels + OnDemand service.

Also, I wonder if it's commercial free?

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My read is £19 a month is the Sky Variety Pack, which will include the new Sky Atlantic among a bunch of others (it looks like there's 25 channels listed at present, and that's on top of the basic digital channels which apparently number 240 [including digital radio]).

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This is great news. That channel will do very well here.

The £19 fee is for the full package, as Ran correctly reads it.

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good news, lots of people have sky but without the movie channels where the Pacific premiered. pleased that isn't going to be the way forward, as many people as possible need to get on board with GOT.

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I wonder if this new sky channel will be available to over non-sky customers (like SkyOne on Virgin) Cos otherwise I won't be able to see lt.

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I wonder if this new sky channel will be available to over non-sky customers (like SkyOne on Virgin) Cos otherwise I won't be able to see lt.

I wouldn't bet on it.

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Will Aky put this on the SkyPlayer on their website afterwards? If they don't I'll have to use other means of watching it as I don't have Sky and don't plan on getting it. But don't worry HBO, I will buy the DVD when it's released.

Any word on how long it'll run for? I'll be revising for exams all of April and they'll finish in mid-May probably.

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Yeah, I'm wondering too, as I'm receiving Sky One but am with a different cable company. I don't want to sign up with Sky though - it's a hassle and I'm happy with who I'm with now.

Knowing my luck it won't be on Sky One at all though, and I'll have to watch it online. Which I don't mind doing - but would much rather watch it on a TV channel.

Wonder if RTE will get it? I know Sky has snapped up the rights to HBO's stuff in the UK, but this is a different country. Unless there's a division of Sky called "Sky Ireland" or something, & RTE didn't even bother competing for it. (Which is possible as there's nothing online about RTE buying it. And they couldn't counter Sky's buying budget anyway....)

Hard to tell though - for example Sky have just bought the UK rights to show Mad Men. But I believe that's not going to affect it continuing to appear on RTE as the deal is only for the UK.

:wacko:

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My understanding is that Sky snapped up the Irish broadcast rights as well.

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I'm disapointed to be honest, looks like I'll be streaming it, as I won;t be getting sky, like the other poster above I'm on a different cable (virgin) and don;t have any desire to switch from them. I assumed Sky was going put all there new programming rights onto there flagship channels in an attempt to reinvigorate them, seems not. They are in fact doing there best to move virtually everything behind various levels of paywall (with commercials as well)

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One of the articles I've read about the new Sky Atlantic is that Sky is in negotiations with other carriers, and Virgin was specifically mentioned. If those come to fruition, then Virgin may be allowed to carry some of Sky's programming.

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I'm sure Sky might allow Virgin or BT vision to carry Sky Atlantic, but they will no doubt make it a premium channel with a hefty fee. Sky Arts and Sky 1 which were the channels thought most likely to carry top end drama are available as part of the Virgin L and XL packages, this new channel will presumably not be part of this. Sky recently bought a number of of virgins channels several of which were available on freeview and have started transferring there best content to channels behind paywalls, overall I'm getting more and more disgusted with their business practices and don't understand why they are being allowed to gobble up so much of the competition piece by piece.

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My understanding is that Sky snapped up the Irish broadcast rights as well.

Then sadly it looks like I'm going to be watching it on megavideo.

Which sucks frankly. I mean - I have Sky One for God's sake!

Realistically how many viewers are they going to get on this new Sky Atlantic channel? They don't seem all that concerned about viewing figures if they're knocking out people with Sky One on other cable operators.....

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They don't care about viewing figures, they care about getting people to give them money. It's the gymnasium financial model - they make most of their money from people who pay for services and don't use them.

Their sports package is based around getting you to pay for three (or four) 24 hour sports channels, on the assumption that you'll only be watching soccer on a saturday afternoon. If you want to watch the sunday afternoon NFL game, that's on Sky Sports 4, but you can't have that unless you've already subscribed to 1 & 2... even if you have no interest in Soccer, Cricket, Rugby or WWE. No, wait, WWE is on Sky Sports 3 now. Wrestling fans have to pay for 1 & 2 even if they don't want them, too.

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