Time Warner CEO Says Having Game Of Thrones As 'Most Pirated' Is 'Better Than An Emmy'
from the starting-to-realize dept
Because it’s so popular — and so pirated (in part because you can’t view it legally online if you’re not an HBO subscriber via cable/satellite) — the question of Game of Thrones and piracy is a story that just never dies. Many people have argued that it’s ridiculous that there are no legal options for cord cutters, and that just leads to more infringement — and, in turn, that’s resulted in people arguing that a good part of the show’s popularity is likely due to infringement. Of course, for those associated directly with the show, it seems like they’re a bit conflicted about this. Director David Petrarca first said that unauthorized downloads were great because they added to the cultural buzz that made the show thrive… and once that story got attention, he quickly walked it back, suddenly saying he was opposed to unauthorized watching. And, bizarrely, we’ve even seen the US ambassador to Australia argue that stopping infringement of Game of Thrones is a major priority.
Well, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich might want to chat with Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner (owners of HBO), who just pointed out that unauthorized watching leads to more subscribers and is “better than an Emmy.”
Yes, in response to a question about whether the network kinda-sorta regards the extensive theft of HBO’s flagship show, Game of Thrones, as a compliment, Bewkes said, “I have to admit it, I think you’re right.” The much-discussed fantasy series is HBO’s most popular, and “if you go to people who are watching it without subs, it’s a tremendous word-of-mouth thing,” the exec told investors. “We’ve been dealing with this for 20, 30 years—people sharing subs, running wires down the backs of apartment buildings. Our experience is that it leads to more paying subs. I think you’re right that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world,” he said. “That’s better than an Emmy.”
Of course, plenty of people have been pointing out for years and years and years that infringement is a signal of unmet demand, so it’s nice to see them catching up. Of course, now let’s see if Time Warner still backs the next ridiculous and draconian copyright enforcement expansion…