Star India, which owns the rights to telecast and stream many HBO titles, was the source of a leak of a Game of Thrones episode that is due to air on Monday, reports The Verge. The leaked version bears watermarks indicating that it was a screener meant for internal viewing, perhaps for censoring prior to telecast. It’s unclear whether the leak came from Star World Premiere, the TV channel that telecasts Game of Thrones in India, or from Hotstar, Star’s streaming service.
In a statement to The Verge that was also shared with MediaNama, a Star India spokesperson confirmed the leak, saying, “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.” Hotstar did not comment on whether the leak originated from them or from their television counterpart.
Star World Premiere telecasts censored episodes of Game of Thrones on Tuesday nights, while uncensored episodes are put up on Hotstar the prior morning. Hotstar advertises Game of Thrones in India with the tagline “Torrents Morghulis”, Valyrian for “All torrents must die” (note that there is no known Valyrian term for peer-to-peer filesharing).
The report notes an earlier incident, where HBO’s Nordic subsidiary released an episode a day prior to its scheduled airing. HBO’s servers were breached earlier this week, and some episodes were reported to have been compromised by hackers; but this leak is separate from that breach.