The House of Cards season that launched last year featuring Kevin Spacey was a huge success for Netflix.  This was the first time on this scale that an “internet” platform had not only commissioned such a big budget series to be produced, but made it available only via their online platform.  It’s a big deal when it comes to breaking the back of the American TV market which has for years favoured the broadcast and then Cable TV model.  Season two is about to launch and it’s ready for Australia too.

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in HoC 2 on showcase

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in HoC 2 on showcase

While Netflix is a huge player in the US streaming video market, the service is not available in Australia and given our size and very unique content consumption habits it’s not likely to make it here any time soon.

In 2013 when Netflix launched House of Cards season 1 they made the whole season available at the time of launch. Meaning in theory it could be watched in full over a period of around 13 hours after it launched.  A crazy idea now known as “binge viewing”.  Binge viewing puts the power of TV consumption in the hands of the viewer.

If you are super smart you may have found a web-browser plugin or VPN to help you get access to Netflix, but as someone who did that and paid the monthly Netflix fee too – it still wasn’t as good as if I could watch it through my normal channels and apps, and the hassle was only worth it for the joy of being one of the first to watch it.

Fortunately for Australians super keen, Foxtel did a deal with Netflix to broadcast and make available the whole of series 1 a short while after it launched.  For season 2 the deal is so much better.

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood & Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in HoC 2 on showcase

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood & Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in HoC 2 on showcase

Valentine’s Day in America is when House of Cards season 2 is available to Netflix subscribers, and again they can choose to watch one at a time at their leisure or binge away at the whole season.

Foxtel too is getting in early – as at Midday tomorrow  – Saturday February 15 Foxtel subscribers get the full access.

So here’s how it works.  If you’re a Foxtel subscriber and you have the Movies & Drama package, you will be able to access all season 2 House of Cards episodes as at Midday on the 15th. You can do that via your iQ2 connected box on the “On Demand” section, or via the Foxtel Go App on your phone or tablet.

If you’re a fan of the good old linear programming, the season will air week by week on Showcase channel every Saturday at 8.30pm starting tomorrow with Episode 1.

For those subscribers without the Premium Movies and Drama set of channels you’ll need to contact Foxtel and apply an immediate upgrade – which will likely set you back about $25 – and given it’s an upgrade you can remove it again once you’re finished watching the show.  If you watch it within the month the cost of Season 2 viewing was just $25.

However, many Australian’s don’t have Foxtel.  I get that.  It’s a little over 30% of homes that do.   The other 70% have a simple, and I would say affordable option to watch Season 2 of House of Cards.  Sign up to Foxtel Play.  This will cost you $25.  Add the Premium Movies and Drama package for $25 and you’re total cost is $50.  Once again if you manage to watch it all within the first month you can cancel the subscription and the total cost was $50.

Foxtel Play subscribers use the Foxtel Go app which is available on iPhone, iPad and Selected Android Tablets and smartphones.   Foxtel Play is also available on Pc’s, Mac, Xbox 360 and some Samsung and LG connected TV’s.

If all that fails, start working the social networks – find out who does have Foxtel and get around to their place for the weekend – Season 2 looks set to be epic!