HBO Wacks Bars Showing The Sopranos 
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Written by AVRev.com   
Tuesday, 05 November 2002

It makes you wonder if the lawyers and executives at HBO remember Lars Ulrich, drummer from Metallica, publicly sticking his foot in his mouth with his babbling about how Napster was hurting the band’s ability to earn a living. The Sopranos are to TV what Metallica WAS to rock music in the 1990’s – the undisputed king. But today CBS and CNN are reporting that HBO lawyers are sending letters to eating and drinking establishments that play Sunday episodes of the mafia drama to its patrons.

The lost promotional opportunities from the downloadable music scandal ended up in a tragedy for the music business. The question is will HBO’s coming down hard on a group of its most loyal fans have a similar negative backlash? Today more than ever, HBO has more uniquely compelling reasons for cable and satellite TV customers to spend an extra $10 for their service than ever including Sex in the City, Six Feet Under and The Mind of the Married Man. By looking greedy, recession weary consumers may feel differently towards the network much like they did with record labels in the war over Napster.

In the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade - consider the possibilities for HDTV if HBO actually sponsored HDTV showings of their shows in restaurants and bars. HBO might be able to demand a higher licensing fee but an entirely new audience of people could see HBO’s HDTV programming and feature films for the first time. It would even more compelling reason to subscribe to HBO along with a compelling reason for people to buy HDTVs.

Sources: CBSnews.com, CNN Headline News







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