Television

Game of Thrones Season 7 starts on Hotstar, minutes after US showing

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NEW DELHI: The highly anticipated premiere of Game of Thrones Season 7 launched on video-on-demand platform Hotstar on 17 July, with the first episode of the new season available for the audience to view within minutes of its American telecast.

The series was telecast under the Hotstar Premium service. In response to the burgeoning audience for international content in India, Hotstar has partnered with the world’s largest studios, like HBO, Disney and Showtime, to bring the most celebrated international movies and shows to India.

Game of Thrones is the world’s most avidly watched and anticipated show, with immense excitement and conjecture preceding every season premiere. Unfortunately, it is also the most illegally downloaded show in the world, despite the content being legally distributed, globally, by its creators.

(In India, the telecast was held back for some minutes, leading to angry comments by viewers in social media. Fans who subscribed tio Hotstar, got an error message on their screens saying, “Something went wrong – we’re working on it. Please try again in a bit”. Reacting to angry messages to the crash on Twitter and other social media, Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan said, “As a service, we are proud that we have built a platform that can handle big surges in viewership. This morning, however, we faced an unprecedented surge in interest around the opening of the new season of Game of Thrones which resulted in a service disruption of about eight minutes.”)

Taking a humorous lens to this, Hotstar has launched a bold marketing campaign, intended to upend the behavior of illegal downloading. Titled ‘Torrents Morghulis’, a play on ‘Valar Morghulis’, as fans of the show will instantly recognize, the theme translates to ‘All Torrents Must Die’. The campaign lightheartedly highlights the trouble people put themselves through for finding and downloading illegal content, and how redundant these pains are in the current day and age where shows are readily available, at the user’s fingertips.

Leading with the promise of ‘Minutes after America, hours before Russia’, the campaign takes Torrents head on with 4 TV commercials, an outdoor campaign in key cities, and high impact digital activation. The films features two characters, one, who still labours through the process of procuring his content illegally, and another, who’s got a Hotstar Premium subscription and is able to enjoy the Game of Thrones experience the way it is meant to be – available to watch with the world, ad-free, unbeeped and unblurred.

Based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series, Game of Thrones has run for six extremely acclaimed seasons and holds the record for the highest Emmy wins for any Primetime TV show.

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