The Walking Dead‘s traumatic season doesn’t look like it will be available anytime soon via iTunes or platforms other than Foxtel.
According to Fairfax, Foxtel has “quietly” made a deal with producers AMC and local distributor eOne to hold back the season until next year:
This year Foxtel has quietly struck a GoT-style deal with The Walking Dead’s producers AMC and local distributor eOne to give the pay TV giant exclusive rights over Season 7 until it has finished screening the entire season. You won’t see new episodes on the Presto subscription service, only via a Foxtel home subscription or Foxtel Play. The Walking Dead screens on Foxtel’s FX channel, which is part of Foxtel Play’s current $25 p/m Drama package and will be included in the $15 p/m Pop package after December’s pricing revamp.
Judging by previous seasons, that means Australians won’t be able to buy even the first episode of Season 7 from iTunes, Google Play or Fetch TV until April next year – perhaps longer if Apple spits the dummy and holds out for longer as it did when Foxtel pulled the same stunt with Game of Thrones back in 2014. Alternatively you’ll probably need to wait until August 2017 to buy Season 7 on disc.
In the past Foxtel did make a pointed deal with HBO to hold back Game of Thrones from iTunes -which HBO clearly agreed to.
The Walking Dead is an AMC title on FX Australia, which is owned by FOX Networks rather than Foxtel Australia.
It is distributed here by eONE, who are yet to respond to enquiries.
Meanwhile Variety reports that while 17 million Americans watched the Walking Dead premiere about 600,544 downloaded it in the first 24 hours, up from last year’s season 6 premiere of 569,772.