Chairman and CEO of HBO Richard Plepler came on Charlie Rose recently to talk the advent of digital streaming content, and the long-awaited launch of the cable network’s a la carte service HBO Now.
Meanwhile, HBO parent company Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes is now positioning online-only content, including HBO a la carte, to win over pay-TV subscribers. He had been tangling with Dish to share a piece of the cord-cutter pie, which is why Dish now offers HBO streaming along with its own pay-TV bundle, Sling TV (which also offers AMC, a.k.a. “Game of Thrones”‘ biggest Sunday night prestige competitor, “Mad Men”).
With last night’s successful “Game of Thrones” premiere, the HBO Now experiment has so far gone without major hitches. But cablers and streamers do have something scary to contend with: BitTorrent, which leaked the first four episodes of “Game of Thrones” via pirated review copies over the weekend. With hundreds of thousands of clicks and counting, this means less online traffic for everybody, including media outlets who rely on the fantasy drama’s weekly surprises for click-baiting reviews and recaps.