On the back of reports that HBO-produced Game of Thrones was illegally shared over a million times after it aired, Australia's Quickflix has announced it has penned a deal with the US network to offer the show through its digital delivery service.
This deal will be different from the way most content is delivered on Quickflix, though. Customers will not need to be a current Quickflix subscriber to access the show, and you will purchase a digital license to stream or download episode, rather than renting them within the standard all-you-can-eat model. A season pass will also be available to pay for all episodes in a season at once.
There is no word yet on when Game of Thrones will be available on Quickflix or how much episodes will cost.
This makes Quickflix the third content service provider in Australia to offer a legal way to watch Game of Thrones down under, with Foxtel holding the TV rights and iTunes already selling episodes of the popular show in line with its release in the US.
The deal isn't much of a surprise, after HBO invested $10-million in Quickflix last year. This investment has meant that a portion of HBO's older content is now available through the Quickflix streaming app, including the first season of Boardwalk Empire.
It does show that HBO is serious about curbing piracy, not through threats, but by understanding the viewing patterns of its audience. This could represent a major milestone in content distribution, if true.
HBO isn't the only US network mulling over how to give the audience what they want, with streaming service Netflix experimenting with the delivery of complete, new series of TV to its catalogue. House of Cards aired earlier this year, with all 13 episodes available on launch day, in a move applauded by many online analysts.