HBO exec sees Game of Thrones piracy as a compliment

With all the hoopla that has been built up around piracy over the last several years, you might expect anyone associated with a television or movie studio to see people who pirate their content as the devil. At least one HBO executive seems to have a different opinion of pirates. Recently HBO programming president Michael Lombardo spoke with Entertainment Weekly about Game of Thrones and piracy.

In 2012, Game of Thrones was one of the most pirated shows on television. Lombardo says that being ranked as the most illegally downloaded TV series for 2012 "is a compliment of sorts." He went on to say that the demand for the content is there and that despite the huge amount of piracy for Game of Thrones, "it certainly didn't negatively impact the DVD sales."

Lombardo sees piracy as something that simply comes along with a successful show on a subscription network. The executive also noted that Game of Thrones is currently on a per-seasonal basis and is the highest earner for the network. Lombardo specifically said when aggregate sales internationally and for DVDs are considered Game of Thrones is the highest earning show HBO has on the air now.

Despite seeing piracy as a sort of compliment, Lombardo says that HBO's policy continues to be anti-piracy. HBO does try to stop piracy when it sees it happen according to the executive, particularly when people were selling pirated versions of the show. He does say that HBO hasn't sent out the "Game of Thrones police" for individual users downloading pirated versions of the show.

[via Entertainment Weekly]