Via The Guardian, Sky Atlantic has just announced that Game of Thrones will premiere in the U.K. on April 18th, the day after the U.S. premiere on HBO! This was very much hoped for by British fans, and it looks like Sky and HBO agreed with them that this. And just to head off those questions, we asked clarification as to whether it’d be just for the premiere or not. Here’s what Sky Atlantichad to say:
Great news for U.K. fans! Earlier, Sky emphasized that Saturday was their main programming night… but going with Monday for Game of Thrones seems to be an acknowledgment of the intensity of interest, as well as a possible experiment to see if day-after airing will lure U.K. viewers away from illicit downloads of programming, an issue that has led some commentators to speculate that Sky’s recent advertising push succeeded in raising awareness of Boardwalk Empire... only to lead interested viewers to download it illegally rather than waiting.
More and more air dates are falling into place, and we expect to soon hear from some other foreign broadcasters on this score. So far, only Sky and HBO Central Europe have upped for day-after airing, and we assume in these cases it relates to the lack of need for dubbing/translation in the U.K. (plus the very substantial rights deal) and the Central European broadcaster’s very close relationship with its sister company in the U.S. As we recently reported, the Scandinavian countries and Finland will be seeing the show in the beginning of May, while Canal+ Spain is set for May 9th.