Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Unlike in past years, Game of Thrones' eighth and final season will be simulcast on Hotstar in India, which means members of the Disney-owned streaming service can watch the highly-awaited return of the epic fantasy series at the same time as HBO subscribers in the US. New episodes of Game of Thrones are broadcast Sunday 9pm ET on HBO in the US, which translates to a Monday 6:30am IST availability on Hotstar in India. Thrones hasn't been simulcast in India since season 5, when it aired on Star World at the same time as HBO, albeit in a modified version due to Indian television's self-censorship ways.
This is big news for rabid Game of Thrones fans in India, since they won't be an hour or more behind international audiences as before. But as with anything to do with Hotstar, it's been silently revealed in unassuming teasers. With previous seasons, new Thrones episodes would only be available on Hotstar after they had finished airing on HBO, which would be 7:30am IST or later. That issue would have been compounded with the show's final season, which is set to have multiple episodes that will run over an hour. Of the five of the remaining six episodes, three have a runtime of about an hour and 20 minutes.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to Disney subsidiary Star India for comment on why episodes from past Game of Thrones seasons were only available after they had aired in the US and what has changed this season. This piece will be updated if we hear back. We would suppose it has something to do with the specifics of the deal struck with HBO.
If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming and pop culture podcast for a discussion around season 8, popular fan theories, and our favourite characters. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.