When season five of HBO's award winning hit "Game of Thrones" premieres on April 12, it won't just be on US screens.
HBO has announced that it will be providing a simultaneous global broadcast of not only the first episode, "The Wars to Come," but all ten episodes of the upcoming season.
The simulcast will occur in over 170 countries, with both HBO-branded and assorted partner networks participating.
In addition to Foxtel here in Australia, the other networks include HBO Asia, HBO Canada, HBO Europe, HBO Latin America, HBO Netherlands and HBO Nordic. Participating international "Home of HBO" partners are: M-Net (Africa), Telenet (Belgium in Flemish), Orange (France), 365 Media (Iceland), DBS (Israel) plus Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia and SKY New Zealand. HBO licensing partners in the simulcast include: Betv (Belgium in French), Intervision (Greece), Amedia (Russia) and DTS (Spain).
The premiere episode airs at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday April 12, which translates to 11 a.m. AEST on Monday April 13 in Australia and a coffee-requiring 2 a.m. BST on Monday April 13 in the UK.
In regions that are reputedly heavy pirates of "Game of Thrones", one of the reasons often given for piracy is . In the world of fast-paced social media it's easy to have an episode spoiled for the viewer rather quickly. Whether the simulcast will see Aussies calling in sick for two and half months on Monday and UK citizens stumbling into work exhausted on a Tuesday morning remains to be seen.
The fifth season of "Game of Thrones" is as hotly anticipated as the previous four, with, where it was used to announce the HBO Now service and its Apple TV partnership.
Correction, March 13, 3:15 p.m. AEDT: The UK will not be part of the simulcast. Wired reported that license holder Sky will broadcast "The Wars to Come" on Monday April 13 at 9 p.m. BST. Each subsequent episode of the season will air in the same timeslot. Sky told Wired that this was a deliberate decision "in order to encourage UK fans to watch, enjoy and discuss their favourite show together." The inevitable Change.org petition is already in play.