HBO will let all Xbox users watch the first episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones as the episode set records for the most illegal downloads.
HBO is offering Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones to all Xbox user for free, including the one who aren’t subscribed for paying the TV network. The episode titled Two Swords will be available on Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One from April 8-4 in a strategy of gaining more subscribers for the service, as noted by Variety.
This offer comes as Two Swords had become a prime target for illegal downloading. Within the first 15 hours after the episode got online, 1.17 million unique IP addressed accessed illegal torrents. In comparison, the third season premiere episode in April 2013 drew 1.15 million downloads in the first 24 ore.
Still, on TV, the fourth season premiere gained 6.6 million viewers, up 50% from the first episode of the third season (4.37 million). This was the biggest TV audience for HBO since the finale of The Sopranos in 2007 which drew 11.9 million viewers.