Looking for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 leaks? No need, AT&T owns HBO now
That's right, those who spent almost two years expecting the pilot at 9 pm on Sunday got treated to the full episode hours before everyone else - provided that they had subscribed to DirecTV, of course.
Call it a mishap, or a marketing ploy on behalf of AT&T to lure more customers into its loving embrace now that it spent $85 billion to acquire HBO's parent company but the notification that went out last night is rather telling.
The season 8 premiere of "Game of Thrones" was supposed to air on HBO on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central time. At about 6 pm, however, Twitter was full of spoilers as folks with DirecTV subscriptions got push notifications that the episode was ready to be viewed as early as 5:20 pm, and... started watching.
Needless to say, an AT&T spokesperson chalked it off as a mistake:
It is an open secret that AT&T has different plans for HBO than the renowned content creator had for itself, and the chief executive of HBO recently left in a sign he didn't agree with the new direction. John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T's WarnerMedia wants HBO to be more like Netflix. Translation: making way more original programming and throwing it at the user wall to see what sticks. That's against the HBO grain as Richard Plepler, its former CEO, created it - he took more time choosing and creating shows.
The immense success of HBO shows like Game of Thrones only underwrites Mr Plepler's strategy, but now that AT&T is at the helm, we may be treated to more shows concocted in more haste and, perhaps, more "mishaps" that give AT&T customers an advantage.
Soon, they will be able to stream hit HBO shows directly to their mobile devices as part of a new video service, too. The new streamer will be called "HBO and more," according to John Stankey, and AT&T is gearing up to cut the ribbon towards the tail end of 2019. AT&T "leaking" Game of Thrones to its customers may just be a prelude to where things are heading now that it owns HBO.