Home Entertainment ‘Game of Moans’ as ‘Game of Thrones’ S7 Ep 1 demand crashes Foxtel Now

‘Game of Moans’ as ‘Game of Thrones’ S7 Ep 1 demand crashes Foxtel Now

As GoT fans across Australia settled in to watch Game of Thrones at 8.30pm AEST on 17 July, Foxtel Now crashed, but Foxtel says HBO crashed in the US and Latin America, too.

With the first episode of the highly anticipated Season 7 of Game of Thrones having aired at the same time as the US at 11am on 17 July, which was a Sunday night in the US, there were no reports of crashes in Australia.

UPDATE: Foxtel has now explained what went wrong - original story continues below.

However, come 8.30pm, and Foxtel’s Foxtel Now service allowing legal streaming to PCs, Macs, Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads crashed, with viewers treated to a ginormous Game of Moans instead as Game of Thrones was denied – but as you'll read below, it's now the wee hours of Tuesday morning as I type, and Foxtel Now service has been restored.

Anyway, I knew there was a problem and that I'd be writing about this when a friend who was subscribed to Foxtel Now rang me to ask if I knew why his Foxtel Now wasn’t working, as he was keen to watch the new episode – like everyone else.

I hadn’t had a chance to watch myself at 11am, and I was in the midst of driving from Canberra to Sydney and by chance was just about to enter one of the service stations on the Hume Highway.

So, I parked my car, grabbed my phone, logged onto Twitter and did a search for Foxtel, with a stack of tweets confirming that Foxtel Now had become “Foxtel Not Now” as one tweeter cleverly tweeted.

Even before the tweets confirmed it, we had simply imagined that there was presumably such incredible demand to watch the first ep that it had crashed the service, and we were right – but it was an incredibly easy guess to make.

After all, a huge number of people trying to access a site at once is like a denial of service attack, except by your own customers.

A selection of those telling Tweets is below, but at 11.11pm last night, Foxtel issued a media release claiming that it wasn’t just Foxtel Now that had crashed, but sites in the US and Latin America, too.

Given I didn’t notice any reports of US sites crashing at 11am, I wonder just how widespread any US site crashes were, but as I was actively avoiding any Season 7 Episode 1 spoilers, I wasn’t looking for news either.

Also, given the monumental amount of anticipation, and with Foxtel ads for GoT all around the Sydney CBD, one would have imagined Foxtel’s engineers would have quintuply fortified the servers for maximum demand times infinity plus one at the Spaceballs movie equivalent of Ludicrous Speed, except maxed out to infinity and beyond.

Unfortunately, the force was not with Foxtel Now last night, as the site crashed, although at 12.47am as I type, I’ve logged into the FoxtelNow.com.au site in Google Chrome, and got S7 Ep 1 streaming perfectly, so clearly the storm has passed.

Whether the storm will re-emerge tomorrow when everyone decides to start streaming again after work is yet to be seen, so maybe watching during your lunch break is the only way to guarantee being able to watch.

So, what did Foxtel say about the 'Game of Thrones' phenomenon crashing sites across the globe?

Again, at 11.11pm last night, Foxtel said: “Tonight’s global premiere of the new season of GAME OF THRONES has caused technical glitches around the world, with online sites crashing in the United States, Latin America and Australia.

“The show’s producer and US broadcaster, HBO, reported its technical systems could not cope and in Australia, the surge of demand for Foxtel’s recently launched online product, Foxtel Now, also experienced customer meltdown.”

Foxtel spokesman, Bruce Meagher said tonight, “We are devastated that some customers experienced technical issues tonight. 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.

“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."

Foxtel advises that the Showcase channel will show encores today, Tuesday, at Midday, 9.15pm, on Wednesday at 1.20pm, Thursday at 10.10pm, Friday at 11.25am and Saturday at 8.30pm.

Here are some of the funny tweets, do a search for “Foxtel” in Twitter and you’ll see a few more.

 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.