HBO Now Gets Content Early22 Jun, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Test move with ‘7 Days in Hell’ emulates early Digital HD movie releases at retail
In a switch, HBO Now, the upstart subscription streaming service launched in April, June 22 announced it would stream original TV tennis movie 7 Days in Hell beginning July 8 — three days ahead of its bow on HBO.
7 Days in Hell will also launch on HBO Go, the premium channel’s TV Everywhere app for authenticated viewers.
The 45-minute comedy, about an imaginary 2001 professional tennis match that lasted a week, stars SNL alum Andy Samberg (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), as, respectively, Aaron Williams, a hyper-malcontent American bad boy, and Charles Poole, a dim-witted prodigy who carried England’s hopes for a championship on his shoulders.
The movie also features cameos by Fred Armisen, David Copperfield, Lena Dunham, Chris Evert, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Filip Hammar, Jim Lampley, Howie Mandel, John McEnroe, Soledad O’Brien, Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, June Squibb and Serena Williams.
The early availability ahead of linear TV underscores the changing viewer dynamic, in addition to test marketing effort aimed at rival OTT video services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Showtime, among others.