Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko sees a growing a problem with how his content is viewed oversees, specifically the increasing amount of internet piracy.
"I just didn't recognize how big of a problem it was," Mosko admitted to B&C Editor-in-Chief Melissa Grego, during the opening keynote conversation during the TV Summit as part of NYC Television Week on Tuesday. "It was out of sight; out of mind…we didn't think about it."
Mosko explained that roughly 40-60% of SPT's television revenue comes from international business, noting that piracy is particularly bad in Spain and Russia. "They were doing bigger numbers than our linear networks in those countries."
Mosko estimated that 45% of all content viewing in Spain is done through illegal sites.
"It just bothered me personally."
One way that Mosko said SPT will look to combat piracy is to roll out the shows oversees earlier, specifically moving to a "day and date" strategy. "You really have to find ways to be creative to discourage piracy," he said.
"Its going to kick us in the gut financially down the road," Mosko warned. He argued that the biggest problem is that there is too much apathy among TV executives in the United States.
"I wish I had a magic wand that could fix it," he said. "The awareness and urgency of it all hasn't sunk in with people who have TV jobs in the U.S."
Mosko called out those showrunners and executives who seem to brag about having a heavily pirated show. "That's supposed to be a calling card?"
"Our greatest export as a country is our entertainment," he said. "We have to acknowledge it's an issue and deal with it…and not point fingers."