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HBO is unlocking its biggest trove of free programming ever — in a goodwill gesture as people look for a diversion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WarnerMedia-owned premium cabler is making almost 500 hours of programming available to stream for free (without ads) for a limited time on HBO Now and HBO Go services without a subscription, starting this Friday, April 3.
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The list of free programming includes every episode of nine HBO series: “The Sopranos,” “Veep,” “Succession,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” “Ballers,” “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “True Blood.”
Related Video: Best Shows And Movies To Stream For April 2020
Also streaming for free are 20 Warner Bros. movies in HBO’s current catalog including “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”; and 10 HBO documentaries and docuseries including “McMillion$” and “The Case Against Adnan Syed.”
Notably, however, HBO megahit “Game of Thrones” is absent from the free-streaming fiesta, as are recent hits including “Westworld,” “Big Little Lies,” “Euphoria” and “Chernobyl.” All of those series have seen big viewing gains in recent weeks, per WarnerMedia, which said streaming of HBO Now was up more than 40% from March 14-24 versus the previous four-week average. (Separately, HBO provides a limited selection of single episodes from its tentpole series to watch for free.)
The move by HBO to put such a huge amount of original content in front of the paywall — which it’s promoting with the hashtag #StayHomeBoxOffice — effectively serves as a major sampling strategy ahead of WarnerMedia’s scheduled launch of HBO Max in May. HBO Max will include everything on HBO, plus a host of originals, library titles and licensed content — for the same $14.99 monthly price.
All of the programming will be available to stream without a subscription starting April 3 by downloading the HBO Now or HBO Go apps (or by visiting hbonow.com or hbogo.com), but only in the United States. The content will also be made available for free via participating U.S. distribution partners’ platforms in the next several days, according to HBO.
HBO content available to stream without a subscription includes:
1. Ballers (5 Seasons)
2. Barry (2 Seasons)
3. Silicon Valley (6 Seasons)
4. Six Feet Under (5 Seasons)
5. The Sopranos (7 Seasons)
6. Succession (2 Seasons)
7. True Blood (7 Seasons
8. Veep (7 Seasons)
9. The Wire (5 Seasons)
Warner Bros. Movies
2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
3. Blinded By the Light
4. The Bridges of Madison County
5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
6. Empire of the Sun
7. Forget Paris
8. Happy Feet Two
9. Isn’t It Romantic?
10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
11. Midnight Special
12. My Dog Skip
13. Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase
15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
16. Red Riding Hood
19. Sucker Punch
Docuseries and Documentaries
1. The Apollo
2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
9. United Skates
10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest
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