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Time Warner Cable: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Piracy is Great for HBO


Time Warner Cable: ‘Games Of Thrones’ Piracy is Great for HBO


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.

Time Warner Cable: ‘Games Of Thrones’ Piracy is Great for HBOFor 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)”

- Game of Thrones

Written by: akoerner
Aug 8th, 2013, 10:51 pm

Images courtesy of HBO


Message Posted On Aug 10th, 2013, 9:41 pm
I Agree with most of the comments. I don't get HBO programs in my country so i have to download the shows, however if i did get HBO, i would would subscribe since i've already seen the shows are good.

Level 1 (53%)
Since: 18/Apr/08
Message Posted On Aug 10th, 2013, 9:32 pm

Absolutely phenomenal series like Suits doesn't even air in my country, but it's one show that I'm deadset on owning once I get an income, and I doubt I'm the only one that (will) buys a show/movie after pirating it. I'd never buy it without having watched it, though.


Message Posted On Aug 10th, 2013, 5:23 am
HBO has never been free on cable systems, back in the late 60's early 70's all they did was install a trap in the line between your house and the pole if you weren't a subscriber easy to defeat, difficult for the cable company to maintain, but you were still supposed to be paying for it.

Message Posted On Aug 9th, 2013, 5:32 am
He knows damn well that pirates tend to be collectors who actually spend money purchasing product for archival purposes. The movie channels were originally FREE over cable.

Level 2 (40%)
Points: 4.4
Since: 20/Apr/08
Message Posted On Aug 9th, 2013, 1:54 am

Not convinced in general.  What he's really saying is that piracy doesn't work well enough, so people decide to subscribe after sampling stuff that way.  What he does not want is for people to decide they never have to subscribe, or- worst case- that they can drop their sub and just steal the shows.

Of course subscription has its privileges: want to watch all of any of their shows so far?  Subscribe, go nuts on HBO Go watching all you want, and drop your sub until the next season's over.  You could easily subscribe for one month a year and keep up on all the series.


Level 2 (76%)
Since: 02/Mar/10
Message Posted On Aug 9th, 2013, 12:05 am

Yes, Piracy many times is good for content providers, despite of how much they protest.

Piracy is a hassle for people who don't know what they're doing. Even as it can be more convenient (concepts as "watch on any device" were first pioneered by hackers and pirates) and you can make it very convenient and automated, you have to tweak it and customize it to your liking and adjust to changes in the market (ie, new shows and efforts to break your solution). While us geeks do this for fun and will take on a disruption with glee, normal people will give up at the first hiccup. However, if thet get exposed to some pirated content, they can quickly become used to the enhanced experience, and will end up subscribing to the normal distribution channel. If only to be legal, or to regain the experience if their "unconventional" solution fails. They would never subscribe to the legal channel w/o having experienced it first.

Free-view weekends experiences (in the supposed case you even take notice one is happening) don't come close to the level month of pirated content (or of a complete single show).



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