HBO is taking a stand against pirates, and we aren't talking about Euron Greyjoy. When the seventh season of the TV network's hit drama/fantasy series Game of Thrones premiered three weeks ago with 'Dragonstone' it impressively attracted over 10 million viewers, but it was also pirated 91.74 million times around the world according to the U.K.-based piracy monitoring firm, MUSO. That number caused HBO to officially declare war on those trying to enter Westeros without paying the tolls.
This is not the first time HBO has attempted to deal with people illegally downloading the wildly popular series. To no surprise, Game of Thrones was one of the most popular shows to pirate during the past couple of years starting in 2014 with season 4 and continuing with season 5 with one episode, 'Kill the Boy', setting the record for being the most illegally downloaded at the time with 2.2 million times. Once Thrones premiered season 6 last year, it broke all records and became the most pirated show of 2016, so it's no surprise that season 7 has yet again set another staggering record.
HBO is continuing to fight this seemingly loosing battle, though. According to CBC News, the network is attempting to stop these pirates by basically "sending ravens" to their internet providers. Here is what they reported:
"The letter asks the provider to immediately inform the customer that they've behaved badly and need to stop.
The notice also encourages the provider "to inform the subscriber that HBO programming can easily be watched and streamed on many devices legally by adding HBO to the subscriber's television package."
Of course this is not flying by well with fans of Thrones around the world that don't find subscribing to HBO particularly easy. In the United States there are mutiple ways to subscribe to HBO -- depending on your TV provider, HBO can run up to $18 per month while the networks streaming service HBO Now is a flat rate of $15 per month. HBO is also available for those with Amazon Prime for $15 per month. For other countries it's a bit different though; Canada, for instance, does not have access to HBO Now (only the U.S. has access to this service), so new episodes of Thrones can only be watched legally if you purchase one of their costly TV subscriptions that's described as "top-tier".
Also with the rise of cheap streaming services like Netflix, with plans starting at $7.99 per month, it's going to be difficult for pricey major networks like HBO, Starz, and Showtime to stop piracy if they don't offer competitively priced subscriptions for people who decide to cut the cord around the world and not just in the U.S.
Game of Thrones continues with 'The Queen's Justice' @9pm on HBO.
Source: CBC News