According to Polygon.com, the Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody winning television series Game of Thrones is making history again. Starting with the premiere on Sunday, April 12th, the entire 10-episode fifth season will simultaneously be broadcasted in 170 countries each week. The rationale: avoid the rampant piracy that has been tied to Game of Thrones since its television debut. Although in the past HBO executives considered it a “compliment” that Game of Thrones was the most pirated television show, it seems they have have had a change of heart. The move by HBO to simulcast the entire season eliminates the option of viewing a pirated version of an episode before it airs in one’s home market–now everyone across the globe will have access at the same time.
Additionally, Apple is getting in on the lucrative Game of Thrones action: the tech conglomerate announced that by signing up through your Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, or other iOS device, for $15 a month you can have access to HBO Now on your television. In addition to Game of Thrones, HBO Now also includes every episode of every season of HBO’s original shows and films. By partnering with Apple, HBO is enabling people to “cut the cord” and stop paying costly monthly cable subscription fees. Should this move prove to be profitable for HBO, and more and more television stations follow suit, cable companies will soon have to find new ways to entice customers to keep their subscriptions.
Loren Shokes is an Entertainment Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current first year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2017).