Game of Thrones, the most pirated show of 2013, started its fourth season two weeks ago and it’s already breaking records just two episodes in. TorrentFreak reports that “The Lion and the Rose,” the second of episode of the show’s fourth season, garnered the largest torrent swarm ever recorded on Sunday night. Nearly 200,000 users were downloading the same exact torrent all at once, breaking the previous record of the season three finale, which raked in around 170,000 concurrent downloads. More →
The fourth season of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones kicked off this past week. 6.6 million people tuned into the premiere, making it the most watched single episode of an HBO show since the series finale of Sopranos. Based on author George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel series titled A Song of Ice and Fire, the show takes place in a mythical world consisting of four continents, one of which is Westeros. We’ve all seen the models of Westeros in the show’s opening credit sequence, but a group of Stanford researchers have taken things to the next level by creating a series of geological maps that shows us how the landscape of Westeros might have evolved over time. More →
AT&T is now following Comcast and Time Warner Cable by coming out with a low-cost option for subscribing to a basic cable package that will include HBO as a way to lure cord cutters back into the fold. As DSLReports notes, AT&T is offering U-Verse subscribers a basic TV package with HBO and 18Mbps Internet service for just $40 per month over the first year. The usual caveats apply, of course: The service is only $40 per month for the first year and jumps to $70 a month after that. The package also doesn’t include HD service, which will set you back by another $10 per month, and it will require you to pay a $99 installation fee. So really, AT&T’s offer isn’t as good as it first sounds but it could still be a welcome one for any Game of Thrones fans who want to watch their favorite show without forking over $100 or more per month for pay television services.
Ever since HBO first began production on Game of Thrones, fans of the series have been acutely aware of George R. R. Martin’s deliberate writing pace. Despite a 15-year head start, Martin has only recently released book 5 of his 7 book series, setting up the distinct possibility of the show surpassing its source material before Martin has time to finish book 7. In an interview with NewsOK, Game of Thrones show writer Bryan Cogman discussed that impending predicament. More →
The most pirated television show of the year last year will soon be back with a brand new season, and it’s certainly safe to call it one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons of the year. The season 3 finale of HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones was viewed by an estimated 5.4 million people as it aired, and more than 5.9 million people downloaded the episode illegally. It was easily one of HBO’s biggest single episodes, and now we’re less than one month away from the premiere of a brand new season. More →
Now that the first season of True Detective has ended, we’re all anxiously awaiting season 2. Which sleuthing duo will replace Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson? Has the story of the Yellow King truly ended? Will Rustin Cohle ever shave that awful mustache? It’ll be months before we have the answers to any of these questions, but for now, at least we have some very creative fans to take our minds off the extended departure of HBO’s best new series. In this video, YouTuber CREWgaming has “gamified” True Detective, shrinking Rust and Marty down to 8-bit (or so) proportions. It’s a fun distraction, but nevertheless contains plenty of harsh language and a few spoilers. You have been warned. More →
HBO’s nonchalant attitude regarding account sharing may have backfired last night. Because of overwhelming demand, HBO’s streaming service, HBO GO, essentially shut down for over an hour, according to many frustrated users. HBO GO’s official Twitter account promptly responded to the uproar, requesting that users “try again soon.” The service doesn’t have enduring issues very often, but the combination of a heavily hyped season finale, Matthew McConaughey’s recent Oscar win and the fact that detectives Cohle and Hart won’t be returning next year brought HBO GO to its knees. With the Game of Thrones season premiere just weeks away, we’re all hoping HBO can boost the infrastructure a bit to make sure those of us that miss the first few minutes can catch back up as quickly as possible.
Cord cutters may dream of the day when HBO offers its shows as a standalone subscription option over the web but it doesn’t look like it will be under any pressure to do so for the foreseeable future. Barron’s notes that Time Warner on Wednesday said that HBO added 2 million subscribers in 2013, which was its biggest yearly increase in 17 years. HBO’s revenues have also risen 6% year-over-year, which means that it’s still raking in money despite the added competition from Netflix, Hulu and other online television options beloved by cord cutters. What all this means is that HBO’s business model isn’t broke and thus doesn’t need fixing. While this might be a disappointment to those of us who want to watch HBO shows without subscribing to expensive cable bundles every month, it’s also sadly a fact of life.
The NPD Group released a study this week that showed the steady decline of premium channel subscribers over the past two years. NPD Group analyst Russ Crupnick explained that many consumers are attempting to save money by replacing premium channels with streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, but according to an HBO spokesman, NPD’s “research is simply incorrect.” More →
Fans of hit HBO shows have long dreamed of the day when they can watch their favorite programs online without having to subscribe to an expensive cable bundle. While HBO has given no indication that it will ever sever ties with the cable companies that distribute its content, that could change if new trends flagged by the NPD Group keep accelerating. More →
Did you think you were getting away with something by saving $150 a year while using your friend’s HBO Go login instead of subscribing to HBO yourself? As it turns out, HBO not only doesn’t mind that you’re using someone else’s login to stream its pay TV content for free… it wants you to. In fact, according to the company’s chief executive, account sharing is a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers.” More →
Telltale Games, the maker of the TV show-based “The Walking Dead” video game, has confirmed that it’s working with HBO to launch a “Game of Thrones” series of games starting in 2014, Polygon reports. “We’ll be taking advantage of all the fiction to make something great,” Telltale Games CEO Dan Conners said.” We’re just really getting into it right now and thinking about characters – who has the most at stake, who has the biggest impact on the world.” More →
It looks like the cord-cutting phenomenon is finally getting big cable companies’ attention. Variety reports that Time Warner Cable “is now marketing a low-cost bundle that includes a limited bunch of TV channels and HBO” that is “aimed at ‘cord nevers’ and others who aren’t interested in paying for a typical lineup of cable channels.” The new package, dubbed “Starter TV with HBO,” will be priced at $29.99 per month for the first year and “does not include a set-top box fees or other charges.” More →