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Michael Lombardo
Piracy didn't hurt DVD sales according to HBO exec

Entertainment Weekly recently conducted an interview with Michael Lombardo, HBO's President of Programming. During the interview, EW asked Lombardo about the rampant piracy of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, which is now in its third season.

The series is incredibly popular with HBO’s subscribers, and during 2012 Game of Thrones was ranked as the most illegally downloaded TV series of the year.

“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.”

Despite the rampant piracy, Game of Thrones is HBO’s highest earner on a per-season basis.

Even though piracy hasn’t really put a dent in HBO’s pocketbook, Lombardo isn’t entirely happy with Game of Thrones piracy on internet, citing quality concerns. "One of my worries is about the copies [downloaders are] seeing,” Lombardo worried. “The production values of this show are so incredible. So I’m hoping that in the purloined different generation of cuts that the show is holding up.”

But while Lombardo’s opinion of piracy is rather refreshing to hear from a high-ranking network executive, HBO corporate policy remains anti-piracy. However, torrent downloaders don’t have to start looking over their shoulders just yet as Lombardo says, “No, we haven’t sent out the Game of Thrones police.”

Interestingly, a study published earlier this year claimed that nearly half of all Americans pirated content online. The report also noted that people who pirate TV shows and movies also tend to purchase more content legally than others.

Source: Entertainment Weekly





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