Having slowly edged out the incumbent broadcast networks over the last decade for TV programming's most coveted "Good Housekeeping" symbol, cable networks absolutely dominated the nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Richard Pepler, CEO of pay-TV stalwart HBO, said that the company's content deal with Amazon is not a departure from the company's long-standing position that people who want its content should subscribe to HBO.
It's easy to feel somewhat torn by Netflix's recent moves to pay Comcast and now Verizon for better access to their broadband subscribers. On one hand, as a FiOS subscriber, I should see better quality video and fewer buffering messages when binging on MST3K and catching up on Walking Dead. On the other hand, as a concerned citizen, I should be really, really worried about the precedent Netflix is setting just as the FCC completes its third revision of net neutrality rules.
Despite efforts to make its content as available as possible--to viewing customers of course--on as many platforms as possible, HBO tops the list of cable networks whose content is consistently pirated.
I had a whole other column lined up today around Aereo and its first day at the Supreme Court, but then things started going off on the online video front like popcorn in an air popper.
Online video has become a Wild West shootout with new media company gunslingers battling to sign programmers to long-term deals. The latest winner in the battle--although the war has just begun--is Amazon, which signed an exclusive multiyear online deal with HBO.
Verizon is appealing to new potential FiOS subscribers with a new $50 video, broadband promotional bundle, but customers will need to be prepared for the price jump when the promotional period ends.
AT&T has put its own spin on the ever-popular package bundle with a $39 offering that includes HBO and its mobile app HBO Go, 18 Mbps Internet access (24 Mbps for an additional $10 a month) and U-verse basic TV.
HBO and Turner Broadcasting System posted a $153 million increase in combined subscription revenue in the fourth quarter, with parent Time Warner Inc. attributing the gains to higher license fees collected from domestic pay TV distributors.
HBO doesn't yet plan to launch a standalone version of its premium cable network that would be available to subscribers using tablets and other IP-connected devices, but CEO Richard Pleper said Thursday that it is preparing for the option.