If you’re a Comcast or Time Warner Cable subscriber but don’t have pockets deep enough to afford HBO on a monthly basis, this weekend is your lucky weekend – especially if you’re gung-ho about the season three premiere of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday – because both cable providers are offering a free preview of HBO.
Both Time Warner and Comcast are giving free weekend-long subscriptions of HBO to subscribers from March 29 to March 31, making all shows available at no cost.
The free peek at HBO, a top premium channel for both providers, coincides with the new episode of "Game of Thrones," set to air Sunday at 9 p.m. EST, which fans have been anticipating since an extended trailer premiered earlier this month.
Time Warner Cable is in fact touting “Game of Thrones” for the free preview weekend, along with other popular television shows and movies. The offer, available from Friday to Sunday, will let viewers see some of what they'd get for the usual $15.95-a-month package of 20 premium cable channels.
A Time Warner Cable rep was not available to explain how to access the channels, but the TWCableHelp Twitter account tweeted to IBTimes that “this special is enabled for our digital cable TV subscribers automatically” on Friday. Similarly, when the provider offered a comparable service in January, subscribers could simply tune in to the channels' part of the free preview and watch.
Comcast is also promoting HBO and Showtime to subscribers who don’t have access to the premium channels, offering all customers its Xfinity TV service free this weekend in a promotion called “Watchathon.”
"We're calling it the biggest catch-up in TV history," a Comcast spokesperson told Mashable. "We've seen a huge trend in binge viewing, where people watch the same show in a series for hours. This is a great opportunity to plow through your favorite shows."
The free offer, which normally costs Comcast subscribers $39.99 a month, will be available until Sunday -- just in time for “Game Of Thrones." Other shows such as “Dexter,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Downton Abbey,” “Mad Men,” “Revolution,” “The Walking Dead,” “Bates Motel,” “Psych,” “Parenthood” and “Portlandia” will be available to watch as well.
Taking advantage of the free offer this weekend is easy for Comcast subscribers. Simply log in using your Comcast billing account number and follow the steps here to watch premium channels for free.
The move by the cable providers comes amid reports that people are watching television differently nowadays, with more watching online or via Netflix than ever before. A study by TiVo last year found that only 38 percent of television watching is done live, while the remaining percentage of viewing happens online, often entire series consumed all in one shot.