The thousands, if not millions, of Game of Thrones fans that do not have a premium subscription have another legal way to watch the season 4 premiere. Microsoft just announced that starting today, Xbox Live Gold members can watch the “Game of Thrones” season 4 premiere for free all week.

Well, not entirely free. You’ll need a gold subscription in order to watch it.

Today’s news reflects HBO’s willingness to offer season premieres for free. The two-part “Girls” premiere was uploaded to YouTube.

HBO realizes it has a piracy problem with its most popular shows. They hope offering the premiere for free will help drive more customers to them.

This move won’t get rid of all piracy, but any new subscribers is a net win for HBO. According to Torrentfreak, Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” premiere saw more than a million downloads in just half a day. HBO Go’s troubles didn’t help matters any. The extremely high demand caused the HBO Go service to crash and it was down for several hours for many users.

Microsoft gets to tout a free episode of “Game of Thrones” on its service. Picking Microsoft is a logical fit for both sides. Microsoft has boasted the Xbox One is an “all-in-one” device. The Game of Thrones deal with HBO reminds us how important Microsoft still views entertainment as part of its Xbox One strategy.


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