Euro webs in game for ‘Thrones’

HBO show big seller at market

HBO’s epic medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones,” starring Sean Bean, looks set to be its biggest seller in international markets at the Mip TV mart.

Bidding wars broke out among European webs determined to licence the show before the mart bean, according to HBO sales prexy, Charles Schreger.

Schreger, said, “We knew we had a pair of hot properties in ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ but buyers’ interest in ‘Thrones’ is phenomenal.”

The show bows Stateside April 17 and on U.K. pay TV web Sky Atlantic the day after. It’s been acquired in Germany (TNT), France (Orange and Canal Plus), Belgium (Telenet), Canada (Astra and Corus), Australia (Showtime), Scandinavia (Canal Plus) and South Africa (MNet) with deals for Japan, Italy and Russia in the pipeline.

“European broadcasters have especially taken to the drama because it’s got the kind of scale they can’t do on their own,” Schreger said.

HBO’s Mip TV slate also includes action drama “Strike Back,” co-produced with U.K. pay box BSkyB, horse racing saga “Luck,” starring Dustin Hoffman, and relationship comedy “Girls.”