Yup, I am! Artistically, now I know what happens, I can concentrate on relevant harbingers since we know what they are. There’s quite a few, I was obviously concentrating on the wrong plot points the first time through.  If I was really concerned, I could probably organise my life better; I deleted my older copies of the show from my skybox and so short of buying the box set, £32 for S1-3 I am stuck waiting for them to show repeats and so I took the opportunity over Xmas. Great show but the opportunity to whinge about Sky & HBO’s monetisation strategies is too great.

In the UK, where Sky is the sole distributor,

  1. they broadcast the show on their Sky Atlantic channel,  for which I have paid monthly rental and so can watch the show at the time of broadcast and via internet catchup for about one month,
  2. if you pay extra for Sky+, you can copy it to your skybox immediately and keep it for as long as you want, or until they delete it.
  3. If you pay more, you can download it from the sky store as a boxed set, or buy it as a boxed set, although in previous years you’ve had to wait nearly 10 months for the DVD of the most recent Season.
  4. (I think there’s another costed on-demand offering over the internet and via the skybox.)
  5. If you’ve still missed it, you can buy it on YouTube, of course when I say buy, I mean rent.)

So they get three or four bites at the cherry!

Their exclusive contract for UK distribution ensures that they can control the release by channel since potential competitors, that’s you Netflix, that is, are prohibited from distributing content in the UK; competition with Sky is one of the reasons that the Netflix catalogue is so weak in the UK. (Is this grounds for monopoly commission referral? Probably not!)

Today’s offering is not cheap, despite the fact that I don’t subscribe to the Movie or Sports channels I am paying nearly £30 month. I am sure that since I got the skyplus box the quality and variety of what’s on offer in real time has declined. I suppose I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the only way to get quality access to the BBC, actually it’s not, not now that BT Infinity has reached the depths of darkest Hampshire.

It’s been a year, maybe time to rethink how to set up my subscriptions and content delivery.

It’s the most egregious example of industrial content’s end game, that we pay for time and can only rent content in real time, and they do it because they can.


The featured image was obtained from a wallpaper site without copyright documentation.

Watching Game of Thrones (again)
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