Will Netflix Get ‘Game of Thrones’?

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows of all time, with millions of viewers tuning into the eighth and final season on HBO.

The series is gearing up for the grand final episode in just four weeks, and fans are already wondering how they will be able to binge watch their favorite show after it’s all over. With Netflix growing in popularity, it’s only logical to wonder: Will Netflix get the rights to stream Game of Thrones?

The battle between platforms

The HBO channel has long been known as a distributor of groundbreaking film and television content. Over the years, HBO has featured such programs as Girls, Sex and the City, Westworld, and of course, Game of Thrones. The channel has become well-known for explosive, sometimes controversial content, and many of the programs are intended for mature audiences only.

HBO has also shown some of the most innovative documentary films around, including the much-discussed Leaving Neverland documentary, which focused on the Michael Jackson abuse allegations. Of course, in an increasingly digital age, any television network can struggle to keep up, even network giants like HBO. Netflix has been coming after them hard for their share of subscribers. In fact, in a 2013 article, the Chief Content Officer of Netflix declared his intention to “become HBO.”

Netflix has lots of original content

At first, Netflix was merely a platform for established movies and TV shows. The streaming service featured lots of ’90s films and television comedies, which subscribers loved, but in order to keep up with the changing entertainment landscape, Netflix had to evolve. Over the past several years, Netflix has been producing high-level original films that are only available on the platform. Buzzworthy films like Bird Box, which featured A-list stars like Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson, brought them more subscribers and kept fans all over the world tuning in to see what they would come up with next. 

While Netflix does pay a pretty penny for certain iconic TV shows (like the $100 million agreement that the platform signed in order to keep Friends for an extra year), it seems as though their best value these days comes from original content. With a ton of new original movies and TV series scheduled for this year, it seems like their ambitious plan will continue to pay off in a big way. But will Game of Thrones fans ever get to see their favorite characters again and again on the streaming service?

‘Game of Thrones’ will stay around

It seems highly unlikely that HBO will ever allow Netflix the rights to stream Game of Thrones. The show is far too big of a moneymaker for them, and even though the final season is slated to end in May 2019, reruns will undoubtedly be around for years to come. The HBO Go app is the network’s answer to Netflix and pushes its content to subscribers, who are also able to access exclusive app-only content and special features. Plus, being the exclusive provider of the show ensures fans need to subscribe to HBO to watch the content.

In addition, HBO and Netflix have no love lost between them, and since they are direct competitors, they each have a vested interest in making sure the other doesn’t undercut their bottom line. Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows ever made, with huge incentives coming to whichever platform keeps the rights. For now, that platform is HBO – and it will likely stay that way.

Even though fans might not be able to watch Game of Thrones on Netflix, it is likely that Netflix will play on the popularity of the series, and even release their own fantasy adventure series in the near future.