Monday, April 11, 2016

M-Net quiet over whether it will be showing the new HBO Game of Thrones Aftershow companion show on M-Net Edge or have it on DStv Catch Up.

M-Net has been quiet for over a week over whether the Game of Thrones Aftershow - a new companion show starting with the upcoming 6th season of Game of Thrones on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) - will be broadcast for South African viewers on DStv.

M-Net calls its M-Net Edge channel "the official home of HBO in South Africa".

With it M-Net creates the perception under M-Net viewers and DStv subscribers that what the HBO pay-TV channel in America creates, will be shown on M-Net Edge in South Africa and across Africa where the M-Net Edge channel is available.

The 6th season premiere episode of Game of Thrones will start on Monday 25 April at 03:00 on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) at the same time as on HBO in America and episodes will then be broadcast during prime time on Thursdays at 21:00 from 28 April.

MultiChoice is also making Game of Thrones episodes of the 6th season once again available instantly after broadcast on the DStv Catch Up service, similar to what it did for the 5th season.

There is however now doubt that M-Net will bring South African viewers the companion Game of Thrones Aftershow talk show series that would be the perfect schedule complement for viewers - or that MultiChoice would make the Game of Thrones Aftershow series available as an on-demand DStv Catch Up offering to subscribers, despite M-Net Edge being "the home of HBO".

Episodes of the Game of Thrones Aftershow will start to roll out from 25 April in America, one day after each new Game of Thrones episode.

The show will be presented by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan who will discuss the show and the events and interesting developments of each new episode.

While M-Net Edge and MultiChoice don't seem to have any plans to enhance the viewing experience of M-Net Edge viewers and DStv Catch Up users with more HBO generated content around this hugely popular fantasy drama series, it might leave Naspers' ShowMax video-on-demand (VOD) service to swoop in and secure the rights if M-Net doesn't actually have the rights to this new HBO content.

Game of Thrones already holds the global record as the most illegally downloaded show for the 4th consecutive year.

With the addition of the new Game of Thrones Aftershow from HBO and its possible unavailability in territories like South Africa and Africa when the 6th season of Game of Thrones starts, it's likely that the additional further new content around the show will ironically fuel, instead of lessen, illegal downloads.

Obsessed South African viewers want to see HBO's additional Game of Thrones Aftershow companion show and who don't get it from M-Net Edge, DStv Catch Up or ShowMax, will likely find some alternative way to see the content at the same time as it's being made available in America.