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HBO's Streaming Service Getting Content Earlier Than Cable HBO

Photo from '7 Days in Hell'
Sean Fang Fri, 26/06/2015 - 14:23

In a move that may signal the start of a new trend, a trend that may upset cable companies, HBO will air the tennis TV movie '7 Days in Hell' on its own HBO Now platform before it airs on its cable channel.

Subscribers of HBO Now will be able to watch the 45-minute comedy starring Andy Samberg (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) a full three days before the TV movie airs on the network's cable channel.

The sports mockumentary takes a look back at a pair of fictional players from the not-too-distant past -- Aaron Williams (Samberg) and Charles Poole (Harington) -- who played a match to end all tennis matches: a seven-day, five-set marathon that took everything, literally, out of the two. The special also features guest star appearances by Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, Karen Gillan, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, David Copperfield, June Squibb, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Serena Williams, portraying Aaron's adoptive sister.

The move to give HBO's streaming platform an early release may be the premium cable network's way to promote its fledgling HBO Now platform, but may also signify a more fundamental shift away from having its programming locked exclusively to "linear TV" providers. Currently, HBO's OTT streaming competitors, Netflix and Amazon, often premier their own original programming on their own streaming platforms before allowing other operators access to the shows - something that gives HBO Now's competitors an decisive advantage.

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