A couple of TV seasons ago, HBO dealt with a huge leak of its popular series, Game of Thrones. The move prompted the network to button up and stop releasing press screeners before the episodes hit the schedule. However, now one Game of Thrones actor has accused the subscription cable network of leaking the episodes on purpose as part of a ploy to keep fans interested in the fantasy series. Here’s what Alexander Siddig, who played Prince Doran on the hit series, had to say in a recent interview:
The more secretive it is, the more special it is. And certainly Game of Thrones plays that. They misinform the crowd and they give them tidbits to send them in wrong directions. So, for example, last season, I believe that the first few episodes were stolen and downloaded online, and everybody got to see them before the show actually aired, and everybody was furious at HBO and whatnot. I don’t know if you remember. I am almost positive that those four episodes were leaked by HBO themselves. So there is an enormous amount of spin going on.
At the time, when the four episodes from Season 5 were leaked, HBO was adamant that the leak came from a press screener that was mailed out. That DVD screener then found its way onto the Internet, although the episodes were fairly low quality compared to the HD that most viewers are used to. However, Alexander Siddig told Startrek.com that he really believes HBO was responsible for the leak and then made sure a big deal was made of the leak after it happened, presumably to keep buzz up for the new episodes of the series.