One of the most talked about documentaries at the moment. Scientology is always good for a bit of real life soap opera:

choosing from images stream

HBO didn’t announce a price point for the service, but it’s unlikely to be directly competitive with Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, which all cost around $8 a month, analysts who spoke with Digiday agreed. HBO costs between $15 to $20 as part of cable packages. That’s likely to remain consistent whether or not HBO partners with MVPDs, they said.

“I don’t see standalone pricing being any less than what it costs now. If it was [cheaper], pay TV subscribers would have an incentive to cancel,” cannibalizing an existing revenue stream and frustrating key distribution partners, said IHS television analyst Erik Brannon. “But at the same time, I don’t see them being able to get a premium compared to pay TV pricing either.”

This will be interesting to watch, as HBO have the problem of a brick’n mortar cash cow they they can’t kill.  Does this mean the higher price points will work?  Or will consumers balk at a price point that will be $200%-300% more?  It is substantial…   Continue reading »

hbo-logoThe announcement that is likely to be the beginning of the end for traditional subscription based cable and broadcast networks came today as HBO put a stake in the ground to say they would be offering a direct to consumer online offering in the U.S. in 2015. The announcement saw Netflix stock price immediately fall 3.1%.

While there is the likelihood that the estimated 30,000 Netflix subscribers would also take up this service, bypassing the restrictions, they may not need to with HBO indicating the service has it’s eyes firmly set on international markets outside of the States.

“In 2015 we will go beyond the wall and launch a standalone over-the-top service with the potential to produce hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue. And the international possibilities could be just as large, if not larger,” HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said during a presentation at Time Warner’s investor day. Continue reading »

hbo-logoI’ve been thinking about this for a while now and wondering how long it would take before the likes of HBO and Showtime realised that there is money to be made in direct to consumer relationships without the need for broadcast or cable deals. As it turns out, this may now not be too far away as both HBO and Showtime are signalling the move is on the horizon.

Earlier in the month, CBS CEO Les Moonves told investors that there was a “very strong possibility” that Showtime will be offered directly to consumers over the Internet. Time Warner’s Chief Executive also moved that “up until now” the broadband-only opportunity wasn’t at the point where it would be smart to move the focus from the existing strategy but now concedes that the broadband opportunity is quite a bit bigger. Continue reading »

Sky Logo NewSky recently announced that they had proudly secured an extension for the rights to broadcast HBO content here in New Zealand. However, now that people are able to bypass local rights holders and get their content directly, this announcement today should send shivers up their spines.

HBO‘s online platform could also offer videos from Time Warner‘s Turner networks, Warner Bros, “and, frankly, other networks,” CEO Jeff Bewkes told analysts today. “Should offerings be determined for consumers based on what a company owns?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s not how consumers arrange their dial….We’re anticipating people might want more than that.” The Time Warner chief says that HBO is “investing in top talent, software developers in Seattle” to improve on what’s already “a very good consumer experience.” Fox’s aborted effort to acquire Time Warner was driven, in part, by a desire to create its own centralized online service.

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SKY is delighted to confirm that premium entertainment channel SoHo will continue to be ‘The Home of HBO’ in New Zealand following the renewal of an exclusive output deal with ground-breaking American content provider Home Box Office (HBO) giving Kiwis access to the hottest television content on the planet.

The multi-year, multi-platform deal also includes Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) rights for an exclusive collection of select HBO titles, meaning New Zealand fans of series such as Game of Thrones, The Wire and Girls will have their favourite shows at their fingertips when SKY TV launches its new SVOD service later this year. Continue reading »

hbo-logoHBO has done its first streaming content deal but it’s not with Netflix.  From May 21, Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream series from HBO that initially screened at least three years earlier.  This will include The SopranosSix Feet Under and The Wire and eventually GirlsThe Newsroom and Veep, however Game of Thrones has been excluded from the deal along with Sex and the City, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm which currently have syndication deals in play.

Further more, HBO Go will become available on Amazon’s new set top box, Fire TV.

The question is, could this service be offered in New Zealand?

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