Originally published: November 30, 2011
Last updated: December 21, 2011 - 5:50pm
HBO is cementing its reputation as a trail-blazer with a new batch of hit shows and, more recently, a hugely popular mobile offering. But the company is determined to remain a traditionalist when it comes to its relation with TV distributors.
HBO Co-President Eric Kessler said there is no chance his company will make shows like True Blood or The Wire available to digital non-subscribers. HBO currently has around 30 million customers, all of whom must buy its content as an upgrade from their cable or satellite package. HBO’s decision to remain tightly wedded to the cable industry makes it something of an outlier in this age of aggregation. The rationale, according to Kessler, is that services like Netflix and Hulu are competitors and that HBO’s bread and butter is content not licensing.
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