HBO wants to keep GoT parties in the living room

One cease and desist to a Brooklyn bar could spell trouble for others

It’s not a controversial statement to say that Game of Thrones is a popular show. It has something for everyone: plot twists, gore, dragons and erotic undertones. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that many people - namely, the cable-less - are willing to go as far as their local bar to catch each episode premiere on Sundays.

However, HBO may be looking to change how some of us get our GoT fix. Videology, a bar in Brooklyn, has been forced to pull the plug on its Game of Thrones public viewing parties.

According to Business Insider, HBO has a problem with others profiting from its programs. The network apparently sent Videology a cease and desist to no longer put on viewing parties for Game of Thrones.

The bar, which celebrated the hit TV series every weekend by opening its doors to the public, offering Dothraki language lessons and Game of Thrones-themed food and drink while broadcasting the show for patrons, is still allowed to throw the related festivities, minus the show.

When BI asked HBO to detail the letter sent to Videology, the company replied, “As a pay subscription service, HBO should not be made available in public establishments. When it does happen, it is of particular concern when there is an attempt to profit off the programming.”

This is an understandable statement. But for many like me, seeing Game of Thrones in a bar is the only way we can watch it. TechRadar reported back in 2013 that Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes considered illegal downloads to be "better than an Emmy" because the widespread absorption presented a "tremendous word of mouth thing" that outweighed the network’s losses.

Clearly someone at HBO, which is owned by Time Warner, doesn’t feel the same way. And in the show’s fifth season, the company has begun taking action against public viewing parties. Could more bars be forced to stop airing the show in the near future?

We’ve reached out to HBO for comment and will update this article with new findings.

via Business Insider