Why People Torrent

Cartoon from The Oatmeal depicting why people torrent content illegally.

It’s clear why people torrent. But it took me a while to figure out why HBO does not offer HBO GO, their internet video streaming service, as a stand-alone option outside of cable, even for a high fee like $40/month. HBO’s co-president Eric Kessler said that they would never offer HBO GO for sale to non-cable subscribers.

The reason is that HBO is owned by Time Warner Cable. They want to keep the existing cable TV model going. Time Warner doesn’t want to become a “dumb pipe” for TV programming streamed from others.

An independent HBO would clearly find that it makes business sense to offer HBO GO for sale and bypass the cable/satellite providers. So Time Warner created a content/distribution cabal that unfortunately limits the options to consumers. Comcast purchased NBC for the same reason.

See Freepress’s ownership charts showing all the vertically integrated media organizations.

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About: Rick


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