Why HBO Suddenly Matters Again It may not win the programming game, but it's ruling the platform one By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff Posted Jun 11, 2012 1:52 PM CDT 18 comments Comments In this publicity image released by HBO, Peter Dinklage is shown in a scene from the HBO series, "Game of Thrones." (AP Photo/HBO, Helen Sloan) (Newser) – When we last checked in on how HBO was doing, it was, well, uncool. In an April column for the Guardian, Michael Wolff outlined how the network had turned into a "rec room artifact," that was losing the great-TV battle. In a piece for paidContent picked up by Time, Daniel Frankel counters that HBO has once again become TV's "most relevant programming brand"—but it isn't because of its shows. Rather, it's establishing itself as king of the platform game. As of last week, Kindle Fire users can now access HBO Go, another addition to HBO's repertoire that grants subscribers access via everything from iPads to the Xbox 360. And that gives it a growing reach that, posits Frankel, trumps the need to have the most-talked-about show on cable. Because in "measuring its audience across platforms, the audience for Game of Thrones this season has averaged over 10 million viewers," writes Frankel. That's double the audience Mad Men claims, and these days that fact matters more than critical acclaim. "When you’re fighting to make potential cord-cutters cable subscribers who pay an additional 12 bucks a month for premium channels, merely appealing to well-educated media consumers in Manhattan and LA may not be enough." Click for his entire column.