Senin, 01 April 2013

HBO Game of Thrones piracy is a compliment

How does HBO feel about having the most pirated show on TV

Not too bad apparently.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo spoke to EW about the rampant illegal downloading of the network s fantasy hit drama Game of Thrones which returns for its third season tonight.

The show s second season was recently released to record setting DVD sales for the network. But in December Thrones topped another chart that is far more dubious Thrones ranked as the most illegally downloaded TV series for 2012. I probably shouldn t be saying this but it is a compliment of sorts Lombardo said. The demand is there. And it certainly didn t negatively impact the DVD sales. Piracy is something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.

The show is currently on a per season basis the network s top money earner despite widespread piracy of the show the executive confirmed. If you look at aggregate of international and DVD sales which are the two revenue streams we look at since we re not selling it domestically on another platform yes absolutely in terms of shows we have on now Lombardo said.

In fact one of Lombardo s issues with piracy is a creative one. The executive expressed concern that illegal copies can be of poor quality when the Thrones team takes pride in lavishly producing the show. One of my worries is about the copies downloaders are seeing Lombardo said. The production values of this show are so incredible. So I m hoping that in the purloined different generation of cuts that the show is holding up.

Still Lombardo noted that HBO s policy remains firmly anti piracy We obviously are a subscription service so as a general proposition so we try to stop piracy when we see it happen particularly on a systematic basis when people are selling pirated versions he said. But he also added perhaps referring to casual individual user downloading No we haven t sent out the Game of Thrones police.

According to one estimate Thrones second season finale was illegally downloaded 4.3 million times worldwide last year. That s quite a large number considering the show averages around 10 million viewers across all HBO platforms.

Heavy Thrones piracy is likely due to several factors such as the popularity of the show among young men (the show skews 58 percent male and the average fan is 41 years old) and HBO s current digital distribution strategy. Though HBO subscribers can watch Thrones online via the network s HBO GO service you can only subscribe to HBO in the first place through a traditional cable or satellite provider and many younger TV fans are opting to cut the cord. A top HBO executive recently hinted that the network is contemplating a digital only subscription option a move that would likely reduce the amount of piracy of its shows.

UPDATE Game of Thrones season 3 premiere recap is now live


16. Game of Thrones producers QA Why season 3 is the most epic yet15. Lena Headey on Cersei s season 3 fears14. How Kit Harington conquered his injury to keep Jon Snow fighting13 Gwendoline Christie on being too pretty to play Brienne12. John Bradley defends fantasy fans11. Game of Thrones producers on casting Mance Rayder Lady Olenna10. Sophie Turner on fans bashing Sansa9. Jack Gleeson on Joffrey s season 3 romance8. Maisie Williams talks Arya s season 3 adventures7. Peter Dinklage on Tyrion s season 3 survival6. Richard Madden teases Robb Stark s season 35. Emilia Clarke says Dany gets fast paced season 34. Nikolaj Coster Waldau talks Jaime s season 3 struggle3. Rose Leslie You know nothing about Ygritte s catchphrase2. Game of Thrones producers on season 3 dragons They re not cute anymore1. EW Cover Game of Thrones wildest season yet Jon Dany an ice and fire pairingALSO Buy EW s Game of Thrones cover story issue EW s exclusive Thrones portraits Game of Thrones 23 amazing season three photos Latest S3 trailer

EW rolled out 17 Game of Thrones stories with exclusive and spoiler free behind the scenes content largely drawn from our Northern Ireland set visit last fall leading up to the show s season 3 premiere on March 31. After each episode air we ll have our popular recaps (catch up on the recaps for the first two seasons here) and interviews. Follow me on Twitter james_hibberd for Game of Thrones news and bookmark our Thrones hub here.

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