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Game of Thrones up 17 percent on last season premiere

Game of Thrones up 17 percent on last season premiere

·         Biggest daily VPM audience for 2019 across Australian television

·         Foxtel linear viewing smashes previous season openers

Foxtel’s premiere episode of the final season of Game of Thrones has shattered records as viewers flocked to watch what has been lauded as the most highly anticipated television premiere of all time.

The Game of Thrones season opener, titled, ‘Winterfell’ marked the triumphant return of the worldwide television phenomenon, which streamed exclusively on Foxtel Now and aired on the FOX SHOWCASE channel yesterday in a global television simulcast.

The day one episode reached an overnight linear audience across all airings of 962,000 viewers marking an increase of 17 percent on the season seven premiere in 2017. Foxtel anticipates continued record breaking performance once the consolidated data becomes available.

The first episode also delivered an additional total premiere day audience of 333,000 who streamed it live or On Demand across Foxtel Now and Foxtel GO – the biggest daily VPM audience for 2019.

The epic six-episode final season of HBO’s global TV sensation will bring about the show’s stunning conclusion, as viewers are transported back to Westeros, where White Walkers, and the army of the dead, led by the dreaded Night King, have broken through the fabled Wall and started their deadly march on the Seven Kingdoms.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television said, “The Wall may have fallen but last night’s ratings have rocketed Game of Thrones higher than ever as Australia joined the rest of the world in watching this global television event in numbers never before seen on Foxtel. Yesterday’s viewership is a testament to the hunger that fans have had over the past two years for the return of the unrivalled action, drama and intrigue that only Game of Thrones can deliver and we are thrilled with the result. Frankly there is no other show like it. It is the television series of a generation,” he said.

“On Demand streaming of all past seasons of Game of Thrones on FOX SHOWCASE was higher than ever as fans binged in anticipation of the season premiere and we fully expect today’s record breaking numbers to grow as even more customers continue watch encore screenings and relive the action On Demand.”

Over the past seven seasons, Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting record viewers and critical acclaim worldwide. The show also stands as the most Emmy Award-winning primetime scripted series ever, with a record 47 awards.

The Game of Thrones cast includes Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Nathalie Emmanuel and Isaac Hempstead Wright.

Game of Thrones season 8 streams on FOX SHOWCASE every Monday at 11:00am AEST with an encore at 8:30pm AEST throughout the final season. It is also available to stream from FOX SHOWCASE On Demand following the 11:00am stream. Viewers can also watch every prior season of Game of Thrones from FOX SHOWCASE On Demand.

Every Monday, for the duration of Game of Thrones’ finale season, Foxtel is streaming Thrones 360 LIVE, where the hugely talented former Channel [V] and Australian Idol host James Mathison and rising media star Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen, will join a live audience at Foxtel studios to recap that day’s Game of Thrones episode, alongside celebrity guests and some of the country’s most die-hard Game of Thrones experts. Thrones 360 LIVE streams Mondays at 9:30pm on FOX SHOWCASE and FOX.

Game of Thrones and HBO are exclusive to FOXTEL in Australia.


Steve Balbi chooses Sony high res mics for The Big Red Bash Featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End, Casey Chambers and more

Steve Balbi chooses Sony high res mics for The Big Red Bash
Featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End, Casey Chambers and more

SYDNEY, 16 April 2019 – The music of singer, composer, performer and producer Steve Balbi mines a kaleidoscope of life at the margins. Transcending rock and pop while coalescing sentimentality and soul, Balbi bespeaks Bowie and Dylan in melody and verse, exploring the heterogeneity, refinement and dirty rotten groove of Radiohead. For one of his more high-profile gigs, The Big Red Bash in Birdsville, featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End, Casey Chambers and more, Balbi has decided to record the show with Sony high res mics.

Steve Balbi

Balbi explained, “David Green from Sony was aware of my work as a producer, and as a performer as well I suspect, so he approached me at a show one night. We got to talking about recording, of course. Recognising that I’m an inherently instinctual artist; for me recording to be all about feel and aesthetic he became curious to know what I would think about the Sony 100 Series High Res Microphones on that level, in my world.”

That meeting of minds greatly affected Balbi and his decision to use Sony’s unique high res mics for his future projects.

He continued, “I believe that the unconventional often creates the most interesting art, so I’m always looking for something different. I tried out two pairs of the high res mics; a C-100 side address dual diaphragm pair and a pair of end address pencil condensers. At the time I was doing what I call a low fi sounding track, so I used the C-100 mic on the vocal. It delivered an amazing effect, to have the vocal so crystal clear, almost sounding like the voice was being sung at point blank to my ear. The music was kind of dreaming away in another room, which was quite a stunning effect that kind of gave me a natural focal point.”

According to Balbi the C-100 mics sounded so incredible, he literally found it hard to believe his ears.

He added, “It wasn’t just the C-100 mics. So too the pencil room mics on drums, which are also great as a second mic on acoustic guitar. The pencil condensers, both the cardioid and omnis sound sublime on piano, so I’m really looking forward to recording strings in the next few weeks, as I know they will sound amazing. These mics have a strange feel to them, almost spooky. It would appear that I have become used to only receiving a limited frequency, however these mics give more highs and lows, which is odd at first, then after a while it is just so beautiful. These high res mics are very musical. They have given me another angle to work with; options and avenues that my already healthy mic kit has not provided.”

Balbi has used the Sony high res mics on his new solo recordings; for an orchestral composition with strings, horns and timpani, which became the theme song for Fox Cricket in the summer; Glenn Shorrock’s new album; the Spectre Tapes EP, the Electric Hippies new recordings, as well as a new version of his latest single, ‘Modern Love’, to promote Psykinetic’s new ground-breaking eye-control technology – something we will hear more of from him at a later date.

Balbi said, “I’m using the mics on the Legendary Dustbuckles too. So yeah, I’m using them on just about everything I record and produce right now. I’ve started to use them as a focal point sonically. Sure, this can be done in many ways when mixing, but I am a source man, so I like to record the sounds that I hear and feel. They generally stay that way, rather than being manipulated after the fact. Now this is generally speaking, since I’m known for voluntarily destroying perfectly good sounds before I record it. To me this is a great way to use these mics. For instance, imagine the trashiest, most rubbish sounding steel-stringed guitars known to man, then putting the most beautiful mic in front of it … BOOM!”

All of these experiences have lead Balbi to make the decision to use the Sony high res mics to record his show at the upcoming Big Red Bash in Birdsville, featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End and Casey Chambers.

He explained, “I have compared the Sony Series 100 high res mics against other, commonly used big names in the market, and I can confirm without reservation that the Sony ones offer something very special that I have not heard with any other mics. A HD microphone is just different. In this sense, I’ve an incredible new tool in my kit and for this reason, these mics have given me a distinct edge. Listen out as it’s this edge you’ll hear on all of Balbi’s future recordings, including the Big Red Bash in July, courtesy of the amazing Sony High Res Microphones.”

For more on Sony High Res Series Studio mics click here or go to:

The Big Red Bash will be held in Birdsville, Queensland from 16-19 July. For more information go to:

Picture credits
Steve Balbi
Sony C-100 high res mic


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