One would think HBO would be irate over the leak of the first four episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones. The channel issued a fairly tame statement of the millions of people binge watching the first four episodes before the first had even aired. HBO was ‘actively assessing’ how the breach occurred.
Ok, most companies would be hiring a private military company at this point, but HBO seems to be shrugging it off.
Enter Periscope. The Twitter video streaming app was cited by Australian outlet, Mumbrella, in a report about online streaming. According to the outlet, ‘dozens’ of Periscope users streamed the first episode to friends as it aired in Australia.
Let’s see, millions of illegal downloads or dozens of horrible quality streams. Which would piss a company off more?
HBO is coming out harder against Periscope than the mass infringement occurring over the weekend.
HBO’s statement on the illegal streams was boilerplate at first. “We are aware of Periscope and have sent takedown notices,” an HBO spokeswoman confirmed in a statement.
And then came the hammer.
“In general, we feel developers should have tools which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring on their apps and not be solely reliant upon notifications,” HBO added.
That’s true, but Periscope has a small user base, and you just had the first four episodes of a ten episode season leak. Sure, Periscope streams need to be dealt with, but nearly half the season is on the Internet.
Sheer numbers alone should dictate who HBO goes after.
Then there is the fact – who the hell wants to watch something as awesome as Game of Thrones via a smartphone camera? Your friend must have a badass smartphone and seriously steady hands.
HBO and Periscope
An alternate theory is this isn’t about Game of Thrones. HBO knows the show will be pirated. Hell, every season tops the piracy chart.
There’s another event that HBO wants to keep under wraps. And it has nothing to do with Jon Snow.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. At $89.95 for a PPV pass, how many Periscope users will be pointing their smartphones at their TVs for friends around the world? Sporting events are not heavily torrented, so HBO is turning its ire to streaming apps.
Quality may suck, but people will sacrifice to avoid the $90 pay-per-view pass.
HBO’s motive for hammering Periscope is not about people getting their Game of Thrones fix. We know it has everything to do with protecting the lucrative fight in May.