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HBO Will Offer Almost 500 Hours of Free Programming, Including Full Seasons of 'The Sopranos'

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By Joe Allen

As networks work to make content available to users in response to the coronavirus, HBO has announced that it will be making a huge swath of its programming free to users, including full seasons of some of its most popular TV shows.

The network is reportedly making the content free to stream and HBO Now and HBO Go beginning on April 3, whether you have a subscription or not. The move comes as many entertainment platforms try to keep users engaged as the virus keeps people trapped in their homes.

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Among the almost 500 hours of content that HBO will be making available is every episode of nine of its landmark series, including “The Sopranos,” “Veep,” “Succession,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” “Ballers,” “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “True Blood.”

The streamer will also make a number of movies available for free to stream. All of these movies come from Warner Bros., which shares an owner with the network. 10 HBO documentaries will also be made free to the public on Friday.

Still from The Sopranos
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Among the movies that will be made available are "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part," "Midnight Special," "My Dog Skip," "Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase," "Pan" and "Pokémon Detective Pikachu."

Among the docuseries that will be available are "McMillion$" and "The Case Against Adnan Syed." If users download the HBO Now or HBO Go apps, they will find all the content available without a subscription. HBO has also said that the content will be made available through its distribution partners in the coming days.

The cast of Veep

The move to make large swaths of content available for free comes as studios like Disney have bumped up the scheduled streaming releases for some of their biggest films in response to the virus. When quarantine orders were first going into effect in much of the country, Disney announced that "Frozen II" would be made available on Disney Plus months ahead of originally planned.

It still required a subscription, which makes HBO's move somewhat unique, as it allows non-subscribers to access the content.

Game of Thrones on the red carpet
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Notably absent among the titles made available by the streamer include the network's biggest title "Game of Thrones." Even as they are generously offering up much of their content for free, the network is definitely hoping to net new subscribers who like what they saw as well.

Those goals are not mutually exclusive, and in the short term, there are plenty of people who will benefit from having access to shows like "The Sopranos" that are normally trapped behind a pay wall.

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