How is $3 "expensive" for a digital episode, exactly?

There’s a great piece over at CNET Australia covering the issue of piracy as it surrounds Game Of Thrones, and specifically a recent brouhaha over comments made by the US Ambassador surrounding piracy. I get the general viewpoint regarding TV piracy, but in this specific example, what I don’t get are the arguments over price.
Go and read Nic Healey’s excellent piece now. I’ll still be here when you’re done.

All up to speed? (You may also want my own slightly longer and already linked at FDT Gizmodo piece on the future of TV, while I think of it).
Piracy quickly becomes one of those circular arguments online, but what does irk me in this particular case is that, to my mind, one of the key arguments for piracy, namely price, is being met, and rather well in this case. Want a copy of Game Of Thrones that’s yours, in 720p definition in Australia, legally?
Here you go.
For the cost of a season pass, each episode costs you just a little more than three bucks. That (in an Australian context) isn’t expensive in anything but the most horribly entitled context, and it’s not even something you can get in the US. Yes, it’d be nice if it were just a little more timely (it appears early on a Tuesday morning, presumably due to Foxtel’s HBO exclusivity*), and I’m sure some would decry either being in the Apple ecosystem (there’s always Quickflix), or the fact that it’s a little delay in the timing of release.
There’s part of my brain that thinks that those excuses are just people looking for justifications who’d pinch it anyway, regardless of pricing or timing. If we can’t support an entertainment medium at $3 an episode, there won’t be much to watch.
*Quick disclaimer that some wouldn’t bother with: I write for CNET Australia, and also pen the tech page for Foxtel’s print magazine. For whatever that disclaimer means to you.
Image: HBO

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