Sky defends decision to show “watercooler” drama Game of Thrones after worldwide simulcast

Sky Atlantic will not be part of HBO's planned worldwide simulcast of the fantasy because it wants to "encourage UK fans to watch, enjoy and discuss their favourite show together"

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Sky says its decision to show the new series of Game of Thrones the day after most of the rest of the world is in order to encourage British fans to watch and discuss the “watercooler” drama together.

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Sky Atlantic, the UK home of the fantasy phenomenon, will not be taking part in HBO’s worldwide simulcast of series five, or shifting its premiere date of Monday 13th April, meaning the majority of Thrones fans around the globe will see each new episode before it reaches the UK. 

“We know it’s a ‘watercooler’ show,” a Sky Atlantic spokesperson told RadioTimes.com, “so while we experimented with simulcasting the premiere episode of series four, we plan to premiere each new episode of series five at 9pm GMT on Sky Atlantic in order to encourage UK fans to watch, enjoy and discuss their favourite show together.

“The new, fifth season of Game of Thrones will premiere in the UK at 9pm on Monday 13th April on Sky Atlantic, the day after it returns in the US.”

Sky Atlantic airs a companion show, Thronecast, immediately after Game of Thrones and will be hoping to encourage viewers to stay on afterwards to watch it and tweet about it rather than resorting to illegally downloading Game of Thrones – which is one of the world’s most pirated TV series ever – and then discussing it with international fans beforehand.

“We are proud to be the exclusive home of Game of Thrones in the UK, embracing and encouraging discussion, reaction and unrestrained fan-dom via Sky Atlantic’s social media feeds,” said the spokesperson. “Thronecast… will be returning bigger and better than ever this season.”

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Game of Thrones will return to Sky Atlantic on 13th April at 9:00pm