Piracy, schmiracy. At least, that’s what Time Warner Cable has to say about fans pirating HBO’s hit series ‘Game of Thrones.’
If you recall, this past June we reported that ‘Game of Thrones’ is the most illegally downloaded show, and it seems Time Warner Cable is totally cool with that. Yesterday, Tuna Amobi of S&P U.S. Equity Research Services spoke with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes about the content theft.
For those who don’t know, HBO grows by gaining subscribers. Overall, Bewkes is saying that the content stealing has done the network wonders, especially with subscriptions. He even notes that the company is saving tons of money on advertising thanks to those illegally downloading the HBO series.
“It's just really strengthening not just the image, but the engagement of our subs [subscribers] with HBO programming, it's also getting them familiar and more involved with using the video on demand capabilities of HBO and don't forget, the television part,” Bewkes said. “The part where you go to your house and you turn on that big screen TV watching it over the video plan, also the HBO Go service where ‘Game of Thrones’ is the leading introduction manual for how to use HBO Go which more and more people are doing.”
He also added, “Basically, we've been dealing with this issue for years with HBO, literally 20, 30 years, where people have always been running wires down on the back of apartment buildings and sharing with their neighbors. Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising -- we don't do a whole lot of paid advertising on HBO, we let the programming and the views talk for us -- it seems to be working.”
Do you disagree with Bewkes? Or do you think piracy is great for TV?
We’ll leave you with this last thought from Bewkes, “If you go around the world, I think you're right, ‘Game of Thrones’ is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that's better than an Emmy. (laughs)”