Sunday, March 31, 2013

HBO: 'Game of Thrones' piracy is a compliment by James Hibberd (EW)

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.”


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