In an effort to get people hooked on the new HBO series Ballers and The Brink, the pay TV service has allowed Facebook to stream the pilots of both shows online. Both episodes will be on Facebook uncut and unedited for a limited time.
The interesting thing is that HBO has made an end run around YouTube and other streaming sites which have run previous HBO premieres. Of course, both are available on HBO Go and HBO Now without any time limits.
Another interesting note is where Ballers and The Brink are being housed on Facebook. Ballers is on Dwayne Johnson’s official page as Johnson is the star of the series. He happens to have almost 50,000,000 likes so the potential audience of seeing the series premiere there is quite large.
As for The Brink, the pilot is on the show’s official page, but the likes are considerably smaller at just 23,500.
Previously, HBO put the second season premiere of Silicon Valley on Facebook and it’s monitoring the viewership to see if this will bring more subscribers to cable or to HBO Now. If this is successful, then you could see more premieres on Facebook and could lead to more networks to create partnerships with social media and streaming sites for shows.
This is all about reaching cord cutters and others who might not have seen the show otherwise. With HBO using Facebook’s reach, this might be a partnership that could go long-term provided that both sides see a benefit.