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Sky forced to apologise after violent and sweary Game of Thrones ep is shown early morning

Sky forced to apologise after violent and sweary Game of Thrones ep is shown early morning

The broadcaster has said it never intended to upset or offend viewers

Sky has issued an apology after airing a swear word-filled episode of Game Of Thrones at 7.35am.

As fans of the shown will know, Game Of Thrones isn’t exactly suitable for younger audiences, with brutal killings, sex scenes aplenty and, of course, lots of bad language.

In the UK, shows that broadcast such scenes as those mentioned above must be aired past the watershed.

Media watchdog Ofcom explains: “The watershed begins at 9pm and material unsuitable for children should not, in general, be shown before 9pm or after 5.30am.” UK broadcasters can get around this time frame if the programme shown is password protected - usually with a PIN.

However, some sort of error must have occurred on 19 August this year when an episode of Game of Thrones was shown on Sky Atlantic at 7.35am, with viewers not required to enter a PIN before watching.

Maisie Williams played Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.
PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

The error was due to a ‘fault with Sky’s system’ and lasted around 40 minutes, according to Deadline.

A ruling from Ofcom said the episode ‘contained multiple use of offensive language including ‘c**t’, ‘f**ck’ and ‘s**t’.

Ofcom acknowledged that the incident occurred due to an ‘unseen technical fault’ with Sky’s system and that ‘measures have been put in place to prevent a reoccurrence’.

Sky has now apologised for airing the episode and said it was never its intention to upset anyone.

In response Sky said it ‘fully accepts strong content should not be broadcast before the watershed without the necessary mandatory PIN protection’ and that it ‘sincerely apologises to those customers who viewed this content’.

The broadcaster added: “It is never our intention to offend or upset our viewers.”

Jon Snow after hearing a swearword at 7.35am.
HBO/Sky

This isn’t the first time Sky has ended up having to explain itself to Ofcom over a pre-watershed swear word.

In May last year, an episode of US sitcom Veep containing the word ‘f**k’ went out at 5.30pm.

After the swear word was broadcast, Sky quickly pulled the show off air, with the company blaming an ‘extremely rare’ technical error.

Sky said the mistake happened due to a ‘hardware fail leading to a loss of connection’ and ‘incorrect metadata’ for Veep.

In its ruling Ofcom said: “Taking into account the action taken by the Licensee to ensure compliance in the future, including the use of additional measures within its broadcast system which we understand should prevent this type of incident from reoccurring, Ofcom’s decision is that this matter is resolved.”

Featured Image Credit: HBO/Sky

Topics: Game of Thrones, TV and Film, HBO