Bad news, TV fans: You no longer have free access to HBO Now by way of Andy Samberg’s alleged personal account. After the Emmy host gave out working login credentials to the network’s streaming service app, the account exceeded its user limit.
While hosting the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star used the high viewership to take a shot at comments made recently by the head of HBO.
“Speaking of, HBO has the most nominations tonight and I just realized that a lot of you watching it at home right now might not have an HBO subscription, but lucky for you, the CEO of HBO recently said he doesn’t think password sharing for their streaming service is a problem,” Samberg said. “So, here’s my HBO Now login. The user name is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the password is, of course, password1.”
The account was real and many users managed to log in and gain free access to HBO Now, a service that costs $14.99 per month. But with a cavalcade of people using the credentials, E! Online reported, the account reached its login limitations and was deactivated.
The host was referring to a BuzzFeed article in which HBO CEO Richard Plepler said the sharing of passwords isn’t an issue for the subscription cable giant.
“It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” Plepler said. He went on to add that password sharing could be a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers” and speculated that it’s a great way to draw potential users into the service.
The stunt was a lot of fun for Emmy viewers, though a lot of them smelled a rat. According to Vulture, many viewers were wondering if perhaps the bit was less of a social experiment and more of a paid advertisement for HBO Now. The outlet learned that HBO did not pay to support the stunt, but Samberg and the team writing the Emmys did give the network a heads-up phone call prior to the show’s airing. In the end, there seemed to be no hard feelings on anyone’s part, except those who were too slow to take advantage of the chance to binge-watch “Game of Thrones” for free.