Game of Thrones is now available on iTunes in the UK.
There’s a sentence we never thought we’d write. If there’s one thing HBO’s epic fantasy series has been famous for – even more than its shocking deaths, dragons and copious nudity – it’s piracy. The show has been downloaded by millions and millions since its arrival in the UK, as those without Sky subscriptions refused to wait for a year until the show’s DVD release and turned to other methods to watch online instead.
HBO has since stepped up its digital game, releasing Season 3 on Tesco’s blinkbox on 15th July 2013. In the last year, it has signed deals with Sky’s subscription platform NOW TV – making Season 4 available during the programme’s broadcast – as well as a raft of pay-per-view services, which received Game of Thrones Season 4 the day after its season finale. iTunes, though, was still missing from the party.
But this week, that all changed as, without any fanfare or fuss, Hodor and friends suddenly appeared in the iTunes Store, along with a raft of other HBO titles. HBO has previously released The Sopranos, Entourage, Sex And The City, Rome, and The Wire through Apple, but many were never included in the deal. Their new agreement, though, means that HBO’s storefront has now been made complete, with Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, True Detective and Girls all available to download in SD and HD.
Which means that Game of Thrones Season 4 can now be watched online on almost all the major EST digital platforms in Britain: Google Play, blinkbox, Xbox, Amazon Instant Video, Wuaki.tv and iTunes. It’s taken HBO a long time to get to this point but in an increasingly fragmented digital sector, the most pirated show in TV history is now available legally to fans regardless of whether they are loyal to House iPad or a bannerman for games consoles. With a revamped set top box rumoured to be in the works, Apple will be hoping that this will be enough to help iTunes seize VOD’s Iron Throne once and for all.
Game of Thrones Season 4 costs £23.99 on iTunes (HD) and £17.99 (SD).
For a full list of where Game of Thrones is available legally online in the UK, click here.