HBO will not be sending out screeners to industry pundits for critical acclaim for the upcoming Game of Thrones season 6.
A statement given to EW by HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo made the cable giant’s stance on the matter unequivocally clear:
“We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world. There will be no copies for review.”
It is reported that the decision to withhold screeners for Game of Thrones is primarily based on fears of preview episodes getting leaked online, thus likely hurting the show’s broadcast ratings and risking fans getting spoiled as to various plot points that wouldn’t normally be known publicly for multiple weeks down the road. Not sending out Thrones screeners was initially the idea of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who then convinced HBO that their point of view was the correct one.