Viewers of television series and movies are still sitting on one side of a wide gap between creators and distributors of that content, if the response to a recent New York Times article about online piracy is any indication. And it may not close anytime soon, unless the industry adapts in a realistic way to consumer demand.
Trying its hand at an emerging pay-TV industry strategy of hooking previously uninitiated customers with stripped-down programming packages, AT&T will soon bundle broadband service, a limited number of basic cable channels, HBO and--wait for it--Amazon Prime for $40 a month.
Addressing speculation about the possible OTT agenda for his company's premium cable network, Les Moonves said there is a "very strong possibility" that CBS Corp. will soon disaggregate Showtime from the pay-TV bundle and offer it to consumers a la carte, over the Internet.
While the tech blogs breathlessly wait for HBO to announce that it's ditching bundled pay-TV services and offering its programming via a la carte streaming, its smaller premium cable rival, Showtime, seems to be closer to actually doing just that.
What if HBO made non-current seasons of its hit shows available for streaming, no pay-TV subscription needed, for $11 a month? Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwa crunched the numbers on an imagined OTT offering by the premium channel.
Netflix finally got one up on HBO in subscriber revenue last quarter, edging past with $1.146 billion versus HBO's $1.141 billion, but that may not be a one-time thing: Netflix is much better positioned for success, both in the U.S. and worldwide.
HBO has commanded the spotlight in recent weeks, amid the rapt media coverage of Rupert Murdoch's ultimately abandoned attempt to buy Time Warner, Inc. But after Time Warner's second-quarter earnings call earlier this week, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings used his Facebook account to take some of the attention away from the premium cable service Netflix views as its most important rival.
Under pressure to from investors to wring more revenue out of its crown jewel, Time Warner Inc. will use its upcoming affiliate licensing renewals for HBO to get a bigger cut of the premium channel's revenue from pay-TV operators.
Seeking to accelerate the subscriber growth of its most valuable asset, Time Warner, Inc. is reportedly looking to expand the availability of broadband-only packages that feature access to HBO.
Rupert Murdoch and 21 st Century Fox haven't even come back with a follow-up offer to their rejected $80 billion bid for Time Warner Inc. But there's plenty of speculation already as to what Murdoch will do if he acquires his prize.