Sky Reveals Thrones Game Plan

Scheduling logistics stop season two of Game of Thrones airing earlier than April 16 on SoHo, Sky TV says.

In an earlier post, I questioned why Sky was previewing the premiere on iSky two weeks ahead of its double-episode launch on SoHo (channel 10).

“The Game of Thrones launch date was decided so that the series airs in the most appropriate slot in the SoHo schedule,” SoHo channel manager Mike Radics says.

“As you know, SoHo content is sourced from a variety of different networks – including HBO – so we have to juggle premiere dates for a number of different series airing around the same time in the US. Nice problem to have!

“But this does unfortunately create delays. In this case – Luck still has two episodes left to air on SoHo when Game of Thrones launches on HBO, so a day-and-date airing in New Zealand was not possible.

“The advance online preview is a growing trend internationally, for which there has been a positive response from people who choose to consume media in a variety of forms, without scheduling restrictions.”

Now, I would be first to applaud Sky for its scheduling of SoHo.

Its programming has been a salvation for those of us fed up with first-rate American dramas and docos never making it to air on other channels — or, if they do, late-night and in SD.

And years of covering TV has made me appreciate the intricacies of programming a channel.

But given Game of Thrones always was going to be SoHo’s jewel in the crown, couldn’t the powers-that-be have mapped out Mondays with this in mind so SoHo’s season-two premiere could have coincided with HBO’s?

In any event, it’s fantastic to see there is day-and-date potential for SoHo to exploit, especially if it puts pressure on FTA networks to screen some of their top fare sooner rather than later.

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