People love HBO’s Game of Thrones, if it’s popularity on torrent sites and bulletin boards is anything to go by. We’ve heard author George R R Martin’s opinion on the issue, but what does HBO, the channel producing the TV interpretation, think of the situation?
Entertainment Weekly over in the States caught up with Michael Lombardo, HBO’s programming president and quizzed him on the network’s opinion of Game of Thrones’ popularity beyond conventional channels. Rather than seizing up or throwing out a passive-aggressive tirade, Lombardo talked about the good points of having such a highly pirated show:
“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 article goes on to mention that Game of Thrones is killing it for the network, thanks to international deals and said DVD sales.
It turns out Lambardo is more concerned about the quality of pirated versions, stating that the series’ huge production values might not come across as well compared to the original. That said, piracy isn’t something it turns a blind eye to, but it definitely has a more mellow approach than other organisations:
“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.”