Time Warner CEO: Piracy is ‘Better Than an Emmy’

Game of Thrones is a show on HBO.  It's kind of a big deal.  I don't watch TV but even I've heard of it.

The show is so popular, in fact, that it's apparently one of the most pirated shows on TV.  Let's take this straight to the top.  HBO is owned by Time Warner.  What do you think CEO Jeff Bewkes has to say about people watching without an HBO subscription?

"That's better than an Emmy."

Say what?

According to the TW big cheese, the word of mouth generated by piracy is even more valuable than the prestige earned by an Emmy.

"We've been dealing with this for 20, 30 years," he said during a company earnings call this week.  "People sharing [subscriptions], 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. That's better than an Emmy."

On the other hand, Tom Adams, research director for US Media at IHS Electronics & Media, points out the down side.  "Where piracy is really eating the industry’s lunch is DVD sales. It’s shrunken that business by several billion dollars. But something tells me that wasn’t on Bewkes’s mind when he made that statement."

Yeah, probably not.  Hey, have you read this The Oatmeal comic?  There's probably a moral in there somewhere…

Source: Yahoo! TV

Image Credit: Time Warner

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    exedore says:

    In light of the Oatmeal comic, it is worth pointing out though that there are now legal ways to purchase a digital copy of seasons 1&2.  Amazon Instant Video has both seasons as listed at $28.99.  It is annoying having to wait a couple of months and missing out on the fandom, but if one really wants to enjoy the fandom, then I can think of no better way than watching the show with other fans.  Find a group of friends who are fans, and if just one in the group has cable, then the group can split the cost of the HBO upgrade in exchange for the promise that the person with HBO hosts the group.  I know that this solution may not be possible for some individuals, but I think it is possible for a lot of people who pirate the show.

  2. 0
    SeanB says:

    No shit. It's behind a DOUBLE pay wall. Piracy for that show isn't going anywhere any time soon.

    I'm certainly not going to buy a cable subscription package, THEN get the premium channel, just for 10 episodes of something a year.

    Seriously now….

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    They should make HBO Go available as a subscription separate from having a cable subscription.  I don't and won't have cable in my home, and even Game of Thrones isn't going to change that.  I don't pirate it, I wait the several months and buy the blu-rays.  But if I could subscribe to HBO Go alone, I totally would.  Of course, HBO won't do that.  It would upset the cable companies that they rely on to push their subscriptions.  Hurray for anticompetitive behavior!  :/

  4. 0
    Infophile says:

    +1 to the Oatmeal comic. GoT is the #1 pirated show because it's singularly difficult to get legally compared to other currently-popular shows. Your options are:

    1. Upgrade your cable service to get HBO (along with half-a-dozen other channels you don't care about). Cost: An extra ~$20 a month if you already have cable, an extra ~$60 a month if you don't. Throughout the entire season, that's $60-$200.

    2. Wait for the series the come out on DVDs, and buy it a season at a time for ~$40. Cheaper, but you have to wait around six months after the end of the season to get it, and so the whole thing could well have been spoiled for you, and you lose out on the fandom aspect of it.

    3. Wait until the series is over, get HBO for a month, and binge.

    For some cases, piracy might mean you're popular. In this case, piracy means you're doing it wrong.

  5. 0
    kefkakrazy says:

    Hah, that Oatmeal comic is great.


    Reminds me of the interview where the GOG.com rep claimed that they effectively view torrents/piracy as their main competition and aim to be as easy to use as possible in comparison.

  6. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    All the more reason I think we should move to a system where a percentage of revenue goes to to the IP owner. More sources of revenue means more money any way you slice it.

    Limited proprietary sources such balls in a age where the net/info is nearly everywhere……..

Leave a Reply