Game of Thrones was the most pirated television show in 2012. It’s a dilemma you’ve probably encountered among friends: people without cable would pay to watch the show except new seasons are only available on HBO or HBO Go. HBO CEO Richard Plepler is aware of the problem. He told TechCrunch:
“Well, look, it’s the good news and the bad news, right?” Plepler said. “The good news is that a lot of people want to see it. Over 12.5 million people are watching it legally. And most of that pirating is occurring overseas. We’re going to do what we can to bring that down, and we’re going to do what we can, obviously, to bring that down in the United States as well.”
But what will he do to make it better? The easiest route (at least to my eyes) is that HBO would make it’s on the go service available for a fee to those who don’t have cable. I’d happily pay for a season pass or a set amount a month just to be able to watch the Game of Thrones or other series at my leisure. When TechCrunch asked Plepler about HBO distribution in the next five to ten years, he said the following:
Where do I think we’ll be in five years? I think there may be even more optionality, but with our partners. With our partners in the cable business, satellite business, and the telco business. Maybe even a broadband-only HBO delivery system. Who knows? We’ll see where that goes down the road.
It’s far from a resounding, “Yes, we’ll do this.” However, it’s not a no and that give me hope.