With the burgeoning amount of content on Netflix these days, I have somewhat been weaned from cable television. I still pay my subscription for DStv though, consuming Premier League football, occasional pop culture and bleak CNN news. But the last and possibly epic season of Game of Thrones is almost here to ruin my life, and maybe yours too, and DStv will be the cable service provider broadcasting it to hordes of fans who have been eagerly waiting for the premiere.
It’s insane that the HBO fantasy series is the most-watched show on the planet, forging a rippling, gigantic fanbase that has taken to the show’s iconography of violence, fire-spitting dragons, sword fights, bounteous sex and gruesome deaths. Characters have died and resurrected, unimaginable truths have been revealed like Jon Snow‘s true relationship with Daenerys, and the momentum of season seven has set up the closing chapter for one of the most grueling, emotionally-demanding showdowns in television’s history.
Who will sit on the Iron Throne? No one knows. That said, the show’s marketing that fully went into gear this year has hinted that it could be anyone. Teasers, a trailer, a premiere, image posters, soundbites from the actors’ media interviews embedded into the churning space of social media (I still can’t get enough of Maisie Williams‘ April Fool’s prank). All this, dizzyingly, has contributed to the buzz and won over new fans who are interested in seeing what the show is all about. For hardcore fans, marathon-viewing from season one feels obligatory and etched in self-benefiting service.
Given the number of Nigerians who are Game of Thrones enthusiasts, it’s puzzling that DStv didn’t launch a pop-up channel for the buzzy occasion of the show’s last volume, wherein the previous seven installments are made available for a month or so. This is, of course, for the purpose of retaining the loyalty of existing subscribers and making new ones. Which, if I’m predicting correctly, is going to be a whole lot. DStv’s slate of programming, from time to time, has included pop-up channels that cater to a particular niche in its subscriber base. As a Marvel fan, the Marvel pop-up channel was immensely enjoyable, spanning from the origins of the MCU with 2008’s Iron Man just before Avengers: Infinity War arrived in cinemas.
There was also the DC Heroes pop-up channel launched last year. This year, DStv has had a sports-centric movie pop-up channel and one for epic action movies. Not to mention its familiar staple Big Brother Naija, which recently had a reunion show for its third season via a pop-up channel. I know colleagues and friends, essentially Game of Thrones initiates who are hustling to get all seasons of the show, with perfect picture and sound. And DStv could have been the plug, milking this pop-cultural hysteria to the last drop. More to the point, DStv should have propped their promotion of the show on this pop-up channel, a special package that comes with a discount. They could have at least tried.
This Sunday, the final season of Game of Thrones will premiere throughout the world (ignore time difference), and we will bathe in its devastating offerings and metabolize each trauma, episode by episode, and know that we were, indeed, part of something special – a kinship.