The Entire First Season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Released on YouTube

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HBO has made a surprising move by releasing all episodes from the first season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on YouTube for viewers to watch for free. This decision came after the premium cable network did not air a new episode of the talk show on Sunday, April 28. The announcement was made on social media, where a post informed fans that the entire first season would be available to watch. This marks a departure from the usual practice of making episodes available on YouTube the day after they air on HBO.

In the past, Last Week Tonight episodes were typically uploaded to YouTube the day after they aired on HBO. However, with the current Season 11, HBO began delaying the release of episodes on social media platforms. Host John Oliver expressed his disappointment with this decision earlier this year, stating that HBO would now wait until Thursday to post episodes on YouTube. The network’s aim was to drive viewership on their streaming service, Max, by delaying the release on other platforms.

According to a spokesperson for HBO, the decision to delay the release of Last Week Tonight episodes on YouTube was a strategic move to encourage viewers to watch on Max. When the show first premiered on HBO, the convenience of watching on streaming services did not exist, so YouTube provided a way for viewers to catch up on the main story and gain promotional exposure. However, with the rise of streaming services like Max, HBO shifted its strategy to prioritize viewership on their own platform.

Implications for the Future

The release of the entire first season of Last Week Tonight on YouTube may indicate a shift in HBO’s approach to online distribution. By making older episodes available for free, the network could attract new viewers and generate interest in the show. It remains to be seen whether HBO will continue to release past seasons on YouTube or if this is a one-time promotional strategy. In any case, fans of Last Week Tonight now have the opportunity to revisit the show’s early episodes and enjoy John Oliver’s signature brand of humor and commentary.


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