So Game of Thrones is almost back for its fifth season, and naturally the world is in a tizzy. HBO is ensuring that that they stay that way with the annoucement that the premiere of the show, and the rest of the 10 episode run, will be broadcast simultaneously in 120 countries around the world.
That's quite the feat, seeing the American cable network working with their sister channels in Europe, South America and Asia as well as collaborating with their partners to bring dragons and dirty dealings to millions of fans at the same time around the world. Which will make it much easier to avoid spoilers on Twitter or accidentally spotting a characters demise in a Tumblr gifset. The plan does have its quirks though - while 9pm Eastern Time on a Sunday may be the perfect slot for those in the US, it translates to 2am Monday morning for French viewers or an awkward 11am for those down under.
That's not going to be a problem for those in Ireland and the UK though because local HBO partner Sky Atlantic won't be participating in the simulcast, despite partaking last year. Instead, viewers in these countries will have to wait until 9pm local time on the Monday to see the episode every week. Sky have said that they want all viewers to be able to experience it at the same time - ie: people who can't wait up until 2am on a school night - but some will no doubt feel shortchanged when they're paying for a service, with the inevitable knock on effect being an upsurge in illegal downloads in these countries.
It remains to be seen if there's going to be much backlash from this move. Right now, here's a taste of what to expect from Season 5.
Game of Thrones Season 5 kicks off on HBO (and around the world) on the evening of Sunday the 12th of April 2015.