Game of Thrones season 5: Pirate fears prompt HBO to simulcast in 170 countries - but not in the UK

New episodes will air simultaneously in 170 countries

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The Independent Culture

Game of Thrones season 5 will be broadcast simultaneously around the world in a bid to reduce piracy. But British viewers will have to wait 19 hours to catch up on what the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen have been up to.

Sky Atlantic today confirmed that plans to broadcast the new episodes for British subscribers are unchanged despite HBO revealing it will air the programme at the same time in 170 countries around the world.

Game of Thrones is one of the most illegally-downloaded television shows in the world. In previous seasons episodes were time shifted for other territories, or even delayed weeks or months, which led to a demand for pirated versions.

The move by HBO has also been made to appease George RR Martin fans worried about spoilers in the time lag between the US broadcast and elsewhere - many fans are planning to stay up and watch however antisocial the time difference turns out to be.

However, Sky Atlantic which broadcasts the drama in the UK has not agreed to the deal which means British fans will have to wait 19 hours longer than the rest of the world to find out the latest from the fantasy epic.

Fans have launched a petition to try and persuade the broadcaster to change its mind.

“We are thrilled to see our international partners jumping on board to bring Game of Thrones, one of the most universally loved television shows in the world, to global audiences at the same time it airs on HBO in the US,” Michael Lombard, HBO president of programming, said in a statement.

“It’s going to be a great season.”

The latest official trailer was unveiled yesterday (above) at an Apple event where a new US-only streaming service, HBO Now was unveiled.

The trailer opens with a monologue from Daenerys  (Emilia Clarke): “Lannister, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell, they're all just spokes on a wheel.

"This one's on top and that one's on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. We're not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

Last month’s trailer promised that “justice has a price” in a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes workings of the warring houses and the new footage shows the chaos to come.

UK Game of Thrones fans will be able to watch the new series on Monday 13 April on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.

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