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Netflix throws shade at HBO over binge-watching options

Netflix is feeling cocky and with good reason. The firm added a whopping 7 million subscribers in the last three months of 2016.

So cocky in fact, it’s poking fun at the grand daddy of cable television HBO for not allowing viewers the freedom to binge-watch new shows.

In a letter to shareholders (via ArsTechnica) following its recent earnings report, CEO Reed Hastings also praised the BBC for testing binge-first viewing on the iPlayer.

He said: “The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favouring Internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC.

“In short, it’s becoming an Internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time.”

While Netflix has enjoyed huge success by shaking up the business model for first-run programming, while HBO has stuck to the tried-and-truly weekly drip feeding for all of its first-run content as it continues to serve linear viewers.

Related: How to find 4K HDR content on Netflix

Subscribers are able to blaze through seasons via the on-demand HBO Go and HBO Now platforms, but the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld are unlikely to ever premiere as full seasons.

Given HBO has a myriad of lucrative deals with international providers (such as Sky in the UK) for first-run programming, we can’t see how it would revert to the Netflix model even if it wanted to.

The light-hearted barb will resurface the debate on the best way to watch TV series. Personally, we’re glad both structures exist.

While it’s was awesome to blitz Stranger Things in one sitting, we sure would miss the anticipation of waiting for the next episode of Game of Thrones and the discussion with fellow fans during the week.

Netflix Offline – How to download and watch

What’s your preferred method? Or is it even open for debate that both methods remain valuable?

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