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John Oliver’s Income Inequality Barometer: Whether You’re Paying for Or Stealing HBO

OliverHBO’s John Oliver led “Last Week Tonight” last night with a look at America’s income inequality issue. And for Oliver, the main measuring stick for which side of the gap you’re on comes down to HBO.

“A good way to know which side of it you’re on is if you’re currently paying for HBO or stealing it, ” Oliver said. The joke drew laughs from the audience, but Oliver was actually hitting on a real issue for HBO.

As we reported earlier in the year, HBOGO crashed during the “True Detective” finale due to so many people—including folks borrowing their friends and family members’ passwords—watching at the same time.  HBO’s CEO isn’t all that concerned about people stealing passwords to watch, so it seems for the time being, HBO is available for subscribers, and as Oliver describes them, “stealers.”

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‘Game of Thrones’ Creator’s Message to Fans Questioning His Health: ‘F*ck You’

George R.R. MartinOne of social TV’s biggest hits, “Game of Thrones,” is based on creator George R. R. Martin‘s bestselling novels. And in response to fans’ worry that his health might prevent him from finishing the final two novels in the series, Martin recently gave a strong response.

“I find that question pretty offensive. So f*ck you to those people,” Martin said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. He was responding to a question about fans worrying his health will prevent him from finishing the series.

There have been five volumes in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, for which HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was adapted from (and was the first title in the series).

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Will HBO’s Free Content Strategy Spark a New Wave?

HBOHBO wants you watching its programs even if they have to offer them for free— temporarily, that is.

A wide number of people feel no need to pay for a premium cable channel anymore, so the network is doing more than ever to lure them in, especially after premium channels have seen a decline in new subscribers while Netflix and other video streaming services are surging.

And if that wasn’t enough, HBO’s multi-million dollar juggernaut “Game of Thrones” is the most pirated show ever. HBO knows it has to get new subscribers in order to make up for the costs of production; being a “premium” channel is a luxury that simply won’t sustain them anymore.

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HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Premiere Available on Yahoo Screen

LeftoversHBO’s new drama “The Leftovers” premiered last night, with the first episode’s action revolving around the sudden, unexplainable disappearances of two percent of the world’s population.

And for those who didn’t watch the premiere or might not have HBOGO, HBO is making the first episode available on Yahoo Screen today through July 6.

This continues HBO’s habit of making its series and season premieres available on multiple platforms for both HBO and non-HBO subscribers. Last week, the premium entertainment network made the premiere episode from “True Blood’s” final season available on XBox and XBox One.

In April, the network made the series premiere of “Silicon Valley” available on YouTube.

First Episode of Final ‘True Blood’ Season Available on Xbox, Xbox One Tomorrow

how-social-media-gave-true-blood-a-transfusionHBO’s vampire thriller “True Blood” premiered the first episode of its final season last night, and for the second year in a row, the episode will be available on Xbox for a short period of time.

Starting tomorrow and lasting through Thursday, June 26, the episode will be available on Xbox and Xbox One, open to both HBO and non-HBO subscribers (and of course, the episode is available on HBO GO).

HBO says the seventh season premiere episode is also available on “multiple U.S. distributor online portals and Free on Demand platforms” during the sampling period.

(SPOILERS) ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Four Finale Sparks Social Buzz

TyrionHBO’s hit fantasy show “Game of Thrones” wrapped its fourth season Sunday night with major deaths and surprises sparking social media.

As fans anxiously sat on edge waiting to see if the beloved Tyrion Lannister would die, they were met with a major surprise (spoilers ahead): Tyrion being freed by his brother Jamie, only to find his former lover Shae in his father Tywin’s bed. And the repercussions for dear ol dad didn’t make for a happy Father’s Day; Tyrion killed his father (and Shae). “You’re no son of mine,” Tywin says to Tyrion as his final words. “I am your son. I have always been your son,” Tyrion responds, shooting him with a crossbow through the heart.

Other deaths include the Hound, by the hand of Brienne, which frees Arya Stark from the Hound’s captivity.

And social media was active around all the action. According to Nielsen, 243,000 total tweets were penned around the finale from 121,000 unique authors, making it the third highest tweeted show of “GOT’s” season four. The season finale’s Twitter numbers rank only behind the second episode (250,000 tweets) and season premiere (300,000 tweets).

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(SPOILERS) Julia-Louis Dreyfus Livetweets ‘Veep’ Finale

HBO’s screwball political comedy “Veep” ended its third season last night, and one now has to wonder whether the show’s name might need tweaking before next season.

If you haven’t watched, major spoilers ahead. Star Julia-Louis Dreyfus livetweeted during the finale, tweeting a victorious image of her alter-ego, Selina Meyer, who reached the political mountaintop.

Dreyfus also answered excited fans’ questions. Read more

Did John Oliver’s Netflix Defense, Anti-Net Neutrality Rant Crash FCC Servers?

HBO funnyman John Oliver‘s 13-minute net neutrality rant from this past Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” might have gotten more than laughs out of viewers.

From Monday through this afternoon, the FCC website received nearly 3,000 comments: almost triple the amount posted on Thursday and Friday combined.

“This is the moment you were made for, commenters,” Oliver said on his show, urging viewers to go to the FCC website and make their comments useful. “We need you to get out there, and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls, turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties!”

Apparently they listened, as the FCC tweeted this on Monday.

For Oliver’s part, he seems sarcastically pleased.

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HBO Classics Now Available on Amazon Prime

AmazonHBO-Logo2The exclusive deal between Amazon and HBO goes into effect today as the first wave of HBO classics are available on Amazon Prime.

“The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” “Big Love,” “Eastbound & Down,” “Oz,” “Band of Brothers,” and “Deadwood” are now available on Amazon Prime instant video, at no additional cost to subscribers. Early seasons of current shows are also available, including “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood.”

Other hit shows, including “Girls,” “The Newsroom,” and “Veep” will become available in later years of the agreement. And HBO GO will also become available on Fire TV, Amazon’s recently-announced set-top box.

‘Veep’ Bringing Fake Campaign Smearing to Social

If you follow HBO’s “Veep,” you know Vice President Selina Meyer is in the throes of a presidential campaign this season.

Apparently, the fictional VP has forces hell-bent on stopping her from reaching the White House.

Another negative ad against Meyer is up on Twitter, and it humorously borrows from a real-life campaign ad against then-Senator Obama from 2008.

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