Fans of Game of Thrones will be able to watch the Season 5 premiere live online thanks to a new streaming service from the premium cable channel that is completely free — at least for now.
This week, HBO debuted a new streaming video service called HBO Now, which for the first time offers programs streaming online with no cable subscription required. The service is quite a departure from the channel’s previous streaming video option, HBO Go, which required a cable subscription and was hit with many glitches during last year’s Game of Thrones debut.
As the New York Times pointed out, offering a way for fans to watch Game of Thrones live online was imperative for HBO. In 2012, the show was the most pirated of the year, according to the website TorrentFreak, with 4.3 million downloads for a single episode.
The HBO Now app is currently available on Apple devices or for download on a computer, and will offer streaming video of episodes as they air (instructions on how to download it can be found below). Those who want to watch the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere can tune in Sunday at 9 p.m.
While HBO Now will be a $15 stand-alone service, for now viewers who want to watch the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere will be able to watch it live online for free. The app includes a free trial, so those who download HBO Now will be able to watch Sunday’s episode at the same time as those tuning in on television, all without paying a dime.
There is at least one other option for those who want to watch the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere live online. Sling TV offers live streaming video for select television channels, but it costs $20 per month plus $15 more to add HBO.
Like HBO Now, Sling TV offers a free seven-day trial that will allow viewers to at least watch the first episode of Game of Thrones streaming over the internet.
There is still yet another option, Gizmodo points out, though it’s in a bit of a legal grey area. HBO has been open about letting customers share passwords for HBO Go accounts, so if you know anyone else who has access to the streaming video service, you’ll be able to use their account from your own computer.
Viewers who want to watch the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere live online can click here for instructions on how to get streaming video through the HBO Now app.
[Image via HBO]