We’ve passed the halfway mark of season eight of Game of Thrones hysteria. There’s been fake graveyards, Game of Thrones whisky releases and themed recipes – and we’re still not sick of it. But for those of us without a Foxtel subscription, actually watching the show’s latest episodes has been tough.
One option has been to head to a nearby public screening such as the one at the Balmain Hotel. The pub has shown each episode this season accompanied by goblets of wine, and has even WD40’d its doors to prevent distracting squeaks during episodes.
But now it’s being forced to stop after receiving a “cease and desist” email from Foxtel, which holds the rights to screen the show in Australia. The email explains that commercial subscribers aren’t permitted to screen the show, forcing the pub to cancel the remainder of its booked-out Game of Thrones (GoT) broadcasts.
The Balmain Hotel’s licensee, Danielle Simpson, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald saying, “It’s a bit disappointing”. She added the hotel had screened the show free of charge in the past to discourage viewers from illegally downloading the series. But Foxtel doesn’t seem to appreciate the pub’s help.
“No venues, whether Foxtel Business subscribers or otherwise, should be advertising that patrons can watch Game of Thrones at their venue,” the email said, according to the SMH. “FOX Showcase is available to Foxtel residential and personal use subscribers only, and a residential Foxtel subscription cannot be used for exhibition of any Foxtel channel in a commercial or public venue.”
It’s not the first time a venue has been banned from screening the show. In 2015 a New York bar was sent a cease and desist notice from HBO after holding viewing parties. And a Chicago bar also found itself at the receiving end of a similar warning a couple of weeks later.