Pay television and streaming provider Foxtel has apologised for service disruptions on Monday night while Game of Thrones fans in Australia tried to watch the highly anticipated season 7 premiere.
With the live broadcast occurring during the day in Australia, most local fans tuned into Foxtel’s catch up service in the evening to watch the first episode of the new season.
Although it became clear on social media that there was a problem:
— Allan Swann (@AllanSwann) July 17, 2017
— Kirsty (@craftyjayne01) July 17, 2017
— Mena (@alldaymena) July 17, 2017
— Jason Allan (@JasAllan) July 17, 2017
Foxtel responded on the night to apologise, saying it was “devastated” that “unprecedented demand” brought down its online services.
“Obviously this comes at a time when so many of our customers are wanting to watch the first episode of season 7 of Game of Thrones,” it announced on social media.
“We can assure you that we are doing everything we can to resolve these problems… Again Foxtel apologises for the frustration this situation has caused.”
Foxtel recently re-branded and re-launched its streaming service as Foxtel Now to better compete against modern rivals like Netflix and Stan. Foxtel is the exclusive rights holder in Australia for Game of Thrones, and is the only legal way to watch the popular drama.
Foxtel later put out a statement saying it was not the only online streaming provider that experienced issues meeting demand, citing HBO in the United States also could not cope with the massive demand.
“As was the case in the US and Latin America, the unprecedented rush for a subscription just prior to the telecast, crashed the system. Foxtel engineers are working through the night to resolve the issue,” said Foxtel spokesperson Bruce Meagher.
“It’s most unfortunate and we apologise to those affected. We are committed to resolving the technical faults immediately and together with our broadcast partners around the world, we are giving this the same degree of priority. We assure anyone impacted that they will be able to watch the first episode of Season 7 either on demand or via one of our encore screenings throughout the week. We will continue to communicate with affected customers to ensure they are fully informed.”