By Sahil Patel
“Silicon Valley,” the HBO comedy about a bunch of tech dudes (yes, they’re also geeks) trying to build a startup, is set to premiere its second season on April 12, the same night as “Game of Thrones.” But before the season premieres on its network, HBO also plans to stream the show’s pilot episode on Twitch, the live-streaming platform for gamers that’s now owned by Amazon.
The move is part of a live-streaming promo event that HBO is setting up on Twitch with the main cast of “Silicon Valley.” Stars Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Zach Woods will visit Twitch headquarters on April 8. While there, the quartet will play and broadcast games with Twitch’s live programming director Joe Carnage, answer questions from Twitch users, and share an exclusive clip from the new season.
Once all that’s done, there will be a live stream of the show’s pilot episode, which will be a first for any TV network, according to HBO.
The premium cable network is no stranger to utilizing online video streaming platforms to promote its original programming. In previous years, HBO has released full pilots and season premieres of shows like “Girls,” “The Newsroom,” and “The Leftovers” on platforms such as YouTube and Yahoo Screen. The goal is to allow people who might not be subscribers to sample a show, and hopefully pay for an HBO subscription to watch the rest.
HBO is hoping for some of that with the Twitch promo event, too — by broadcasting a show about geeks to a bunch of geeks, maybe a few of those geeks will sign up. The network says Twitch is a natural platform for such a promotional event as many in the cast are avid gamers, and Middleditch himself is a registered Twitch broadcaster.
The “Silicon Valley” live stream will air on the main Twitch channel starting at 3pm ET.