At a writers festival at the University of Western Australia, “Game of Thrones” director David Petrarca told a group of students that piracy doesn’t affect the show as long as fans keep it popular and the “cultural buzz” alive.
“That’s how [TV shows] survive,” Petrarca told the students, according to Australia’s The Age.
“Game of Thrones” is one of HBO’s most popular shows and trademark. The hour-long epic based on the books by George R. R. Martin averaged 10.3 million viewers for each episode of its second season, according to Hollywood Reporter, and the numbers are on the rise. The second season earned a 38 percent jump over the shows first finale a year prior. So when Petrarca says he’s not worried about the success of the show, he’s got the data to prove it.
But should we be worried? According to Torrentfreak.com, “Game of Thrones” was the most pirated TV show of 2012.
HBO’s on demand streaming service was created to give subscribers access to HBO TV series and movies, both past and present, instead of having to record them on the DVR. Like Netflix, HBO Go runs on laptop, gaming systems, steaming boxes like Roku, etc. However, Netflix, isn’t a standalone service. If you don’t subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite provider, there’s no way to access the streaming service. That can be a heft price hike for some fans. Providers like Cox Cable at Cable.tv start packages around $30 a month with the option to purchase additional premium channels like HBO. Compare that to $7.99 a month for Netflix and it’s tough to justify the extra cash for just one show.
iTunes & Online Downloads
Okay, so if HBO Go is out of reach than the episodes should be available for iTunes or Amazon after they air, why not? Wrong. “Game of Thrones” will eventually make its way to services like iTunes but not until months after the season finale has aired. The same goes for Amazon and other download sites.
It’s Getting Better, Slowly
However, while “Game of Thrones” filesharing rates are probably driven partly by its appeal to the young demographic that’s most likely to using torrent sites, HBO hasn’t helped the problem by making the show tough to watch online for the young and cable-less kids. The show isn’t available through Hulu or YouTube, and HBO Go requires a cable subscription.
The disappointment was mentioned in the widely read comic strip “The Oatmeal,” in which the author attempts to watch “Game of Thrones” online before giving up and pirating it.
However, HBO is doing something about the backlash of piracy that follows “Game of Thrones.”
You still won’t be able to see new episodes anywhere, but HBO and HBO Go, but cable and satellite providers are offering free trials for premium channels, and the availability of previous seasons is growing tremendously.
There are still going to be thousands of fans who pirate the third season, which premiered March 31st, and that might be the only way to see “Game of Thrones” if you’re without HBO. Not that we’re saying you should do it.