It's old news at this point that HBO has a little bit of a piracy problem when it comes to "Game of Thrones." Last year's premiere broke a record as the most pirated show ever, and this year, the first four episodes appeared online right around the premiere, despite HBO's best efforts to convince people to pay for it. But the network is stepping up its efforts, what with launching a standalone streaming service this spring and offering a free monthlong trial right as the show premiered. But their latest effort is a little more behind the scenes.
According to Variety, the network will no longer be sending out DVD screeners to journalists and critics in advance of the new season. Instead, they'll be using a streaming site for all HBO shows. Many networks already do this, but HBO had stuck with physical screeners for a while. Apparently, they had been planning this move for some time, but the change was surely accelerated by the fact that those four episodes are the ones that were sent to critics. We promise, it wasn't us, HBO! Now they just need to fight off Periscope and people borrowing their parents' HBO Go account information, and they'll have covered all their bases. At least until someone comes up with some new way to pirate the show.