• HBO’s GAME OF THRONES is on its way to becoming the number one pirated show in America according to a report from Frobes.images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRTJpO6z7dPP-rywfxA-MbFZKozkApgW6kmUe3TeVUnlJPxG0aq6Q

Writer Andy Greenberg says, “the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since its beginning in early April. Then its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day.”

The reasons cited for the numbers are not just because it is a highly acclaimed show for both fans and critics but because HBO makes GAME OF THRONES, and all its other programming, exclusive to HBO subscribers. The show does not appear on Hulu, Netflix, Itunes (this outlet does have Season 1) or any other streaming service except HBOGO, though you do have to be a channel subscriber to watch it there.

Thus, the rationale leans towards the belief that if HBO fully embraces the streaming market for mass availability then the illegal piracy of their content would decrease. HBO’s vice president Eric Kessler, however, is quoted as saying that he “thinks the move away from traditional television to an internet-based model is just a fad that will pass.”

  • HARD KNOCKS, the behind-the-scenes sports documentary show cannot find a team to feature.

The New York Daily News reports that the New York Jets are not the featured team in the upcoming season of the reality show on HBO. The Atlanta Falcons had been offered the star role but declined the opportunity so a repeat of the Jets’ story was considered. images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQaqqxw4DuVLjOtAAMjVh0pXb8Sw6VIHtHqG_mvbwYLTkid8_h8

The NY Jets were the featured team in the 2010 season of the show but, it was felt there was enough new dynamics to the team to give them a sequel. With Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez both on the squad and their colorful coach Rex Ryan holding court an exciting plot is already written. But, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not out of the running. That organization’s spokesman Dan Edwards has stated that “we did express interest but, at this point, we don’t know what HBO’s plans are.” The Florida team is not a stranger to being filmed as they were featured in an NFL Network show in 2004.

A decision by HBO needs to come forward soon if a season of HARD KNOCKS is going to happen as teams assemble this summer.

  •  HBO FILMS has been seen filming MUHAMMAD ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT.

Filming has been taking place around the Capitol buildings in Albany, New York. The exteriors are being used to represent Washington D. C. in 1971. Seen around town were 160+ cast and crew including Christopher Plummer who plays John Marshall Harlan II Justice Harlan was at the heart of the Cassius Clay vs. United States of America case.

The movie tells of Ali’s biggest matchup, his fight with the government. It is about the politics surrounding the Vietnam War and the revenge exacted on the big American sportsman because he refused to fight in that war. The movie is under the direction of Stephen Frears and should appear on HBO this fall.

Other HBO FILMS in production are an untitled Phil Spector biopic by David Mamet with Al Pacino in the title role and BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, the Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and directed by Steven Soderberg.

  •  THE DARK TOWER was mentioned in a “tweet” this week.

It is not really big news but anyone interested in seeing Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER works come to film will jump on any news no matter how small. Well, Ron Howard, the director who has been interested in the project, has tweeted a comment that shows that the piece is still alive. We quote – “Spent day today in a story session on Dark Tower, terrific meeting with Akiva Goldsman & Erica Huggins, no timetable but very positive.”images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSjPEGhM-I5PriPoHhG3CKlH3JGoCAxDKOHFGR8xgaONHlIY2ZIMw

The franchise, originally at Universal and now at Warner Bros. has Goldman as screenwriter and Javier Bardem in the lead role. One major concern that holds this project from being on the fast track, as the production staff eyes a movie trilogy and an HBO series, is the expense this venture would cost the studio.

That concludes this roundup. HBO Watch will be on top of these stories and others as they develop.

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