Sony’s Mosko Vows To Step Up Anti-Piracy Efforts

Exec will focus on raising awareness of issue over next 12 months

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Sony Pictures Television prexy Steve Mosko had dismissed the threat of piracy to U.S.-based programs until a trip to foreign shores revealed how serious the problem really is.

After traveling to Europe this summer, he said, he could not help but notice how quickly video of shows like his studio’s “Breaking Bad” were turning up dubbed and subtitled for specific countries. And he realized piracy “is going to kick us in the gut financially down the road.”

As a result, Mosko said while speaking at NYC Television Week, an industry conference, Sony Pictures Television is looking at a variety of methods to combat the phenomenon. The studio will look at so-called ‘day and date” releases, which make episodes of TV shows available at about the same time globally, in order to tamp down activity in countries that have long had to wait for airings of TV programs already available in the U.S.

The idea is likely to force Sony to move up production schedules, he said, in order to get TV programs dubbed and subtitled more quickly. And Sony Pictures Television is likely to look at distribution of master prints to various production studios where such work is done, he said.

“There is a lot of apathy is the United States” surrounding this issue,” said Mosko. “One of my main goals over the next 12 months is to raise awareness of this issue:”

One signal of the problem to him was hearing from his son, in his 20s and living in China, who noticed a screening of a subtitled episode of Sony-produced “Breaking Bad’ was taking place a few doors down from where he lived, just days after the episode had seen the light of day. “We’ve just got to go in there and fix the problem ourselves,” said Mosko. “I see the numbers in ‘Breaking Bad’ and you see money going out the door.”