Last month’s leak of four Game of Thrones episodes has forced HBO to change how they do things. Each episode was traced back to a review disc so HBO will no longer send out preview episodes via disc.
HBO reviewers recently got an email from the executive VP of Corporate Communications, Quentin Schaffer, “Amazingly enough, it wasn’t until just recently that a DVD was leaked online.”
Traditionally HBO has sent preview discs to writers and reviewers so they can get their stories and reviews up as soon as possible, after the show airs. Instead of sending discs, HBO has now set up a secure streaming feed which will give their reviewers limited access to the preview material and hopefully thwart some of the less ambitious pirates.
To put a crimp in the International piracy of their show they have taken a page from BBC’s Doctor Who. GoT is the most pirated TV show in the world, an honor previously held by Doctor Who. To combat piracy, BBC and their partners started airing Doctor Who as close to the same time as possible in as many countries as they could.
The hottest piracy times are after a local release and before International release. Delaying broadcasts of television shows to overseas fans gives over eager viewers an opportunity to download unauthorized episodes.
An HBO Press release announced, “In an unprecedented move, Game of Thrones will premiere in over 170 countries and territories across the globe simultaneously with HBO’s U.S. airing on Sunday, April 12 at 9:00pm ET. The entire fifth season of the Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Peabody-winning series will be simulcast to HBO branded networks and broadcast partners across the world, creating a global television event week after week throughout the season’s 10-episode run.”
Fans no longer have to choose between waiting for the show or grabbing an easily available pirated copy. Now everyone will be watching, and discussing the latest Game of Thrones episode at relatively the same time.