Without HBO subscription, finding a HD link to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones yesterday became a herculean task for me. It was a dilemma to watch the episode right away or wait for an HD link, meanwhile keeping myself away from social media to escape spoilers.
This is something many Indians suffer on a daily basis. Now to take this misery away, Hotstar, Star India’s video streaming service, has started a monthly subscription service called Hotstar Premium. With a subscription of Rs 199 per month, viewers will be given an exclusive access to watch Game of Thrones, and other English TV and movies.
The subscription service has been launched with the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones season six, which was available to stream on Hotstar minutes after the US screening ended. And the best part is that these well be uncensored.
An outcome of partnership between Star India and HBO in December last year, a bunch of shows have been selected to be previewed on the video streaming site. These include the likes of Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, True Detective, Vinyl, Veep, Entourage, Leftovers, The Sopranos, Band of Brothers and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The enthusiasm created by Game of Thrones and the anticipation of watching the latest episode without getting a single spoiler is not unhidden from anyone. Not even from those who aren’t fans of the show. This has made Game of Thrones one of the most pirated TV shows over the past few years. And the unavailability of the show on Netflix just adds to this.
Hence, this partnership is hitting two birds with one stone.
With Hotstar previewing these world famous shows, its subscriptions are going to reach new heights. Also, with HBO as partner, Indians will now have a legal, convenient and cheap way to watch their favorite shows. What makes it even better is that this premium membership costs just Rs 199, compared to what Netflix charges that are Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 800 per month.
Along with TV shows and movies, Star India also intends to introduce live sports and shows from its network with this premium service. It already offers ad-supported delayed live streams for the IPL T20 tournament, and previously offered similar live streams for the World Cup Twenty20.
The Hotstar app is available on Android and iOS platforms, and a web version is also available for desktop users. For now the premium membership is limited to viewers using credit card, but support for debit cards will be coming soon.
Hope you have a spoiler free Game of Thrones season. Valar Morghulis.