- The first season finale episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon has leaked online.
- The finale is supposed to air on Monday, with South African viewers watching it on M-Net (DStv 101).
- HBO said in a statement: “We’re disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K.”
The first season finale episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon leaked on Friday and had been illegally downloaded and shared on torrent sites thousands of times by Saturday morning, three days before its linear broadcast is supposed to take place on M-Net (DStv 101) on Monday in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa.
HBO said that it was aware of the leak of the episode, was trying to get it scrubbed from the internet and that it appeared that the leaked episode came from the system of a distribution partner somewhere in Africa, the Middle East or Europe, known as the EMEA region.
“We are aware that the 10th episode of House of the Dragon has been posted on illegal torrent sites,” HBO says in a statement. “It appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA region. HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet. We’re disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K.”
In South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa, HBO’s House of the Dragon is shown on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV service, with M-Net, which has a long-running licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO.
Viewers are, however, not getting access to the behind-the-scenes companion show, The House that Dragons Built, which is a documentary series on the HBO Max streaming service chronicling the making of each episode.
It is the second leak for House of the Dragon which also saw its first episode leaked online in August, days before it had its linear TV debut. Thousands of people worldwide swarmed to pirate-watch the start of the series online with a pristine, high-definition (HD) 1080p, full surround sound version of the first episode that was shared, complete with an HBO logo in the top-right corner and enabled subtitling in various languages.
What is happening with HBO’s House of the Dragon is similar to what happened with George R.R. Martin’s latter seasons of Game of Thrones which all saw episodes being pirated before broadcast, including almost all of the episodes of the widely-panned 8th and final season.
Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV show of the year globally for several years.