Star India appears to have gone above and beyond its promise to stream Game of Thrones at the same time in India as the rest of the world — it’s gone ahead and leaked and episode three days before its official release.
The new Game of Thrones episode — the fourth in its seventh season — has been leaked online, and the source of the leak was Star India, HBO has confirmed. The episode, which was to air early Monday in India, was made available online on Friday. Titled “The Spoils Of War,” the episode is currently circulating on the internet, with a Star India logo and a “For internal viewing only” warning.
“This confirms the compromise of Episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7, earlier this afternoon. We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause. This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action,” a Star India spokesperson said in a statement.
The leak appears unrelated to a recent HBO hack in which Game of Thrones scripts and some episodes of new HBO shows had been made available.
Hotstar had run a massive promotional campaign leading up to the 7th season of Game of Thrones. It had declared Torrents Morghulus, meaning all torrents must die, asking users to buy Hotstar subscriptions to legally watch Game of Thrones episodes at the same time as they released in the US. The program had run into some initial troubles — Hotstar’s site has crashed during the season premiere, leading to many users posting angry updates on social media.
The new leak, though, is a lot more serious. An episode releasing three days before its official date has worldwide ramifications — the episode already has thousands of seeds available online, which means that most people will get to watch it before it officially airs. Worse, given how a large percentage of the population watches Game of Thrones on torrents, spoilers around the episode will be all over the internet much before Monday morning.
For some employee at Star India, winter might indeed be coming.