HBO: This Year Tough As Childbirth

HBO is going to see several significant changes in the near future, as its new owners AT&T calls for the network to compete with streaming giants like Netflix by increasing the number of shows it offers to subscribers.

At a recent town hall meeting at the network’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, John Stankey, an AT&T executive who now heads HBO as CEO of Warner Media, said, “It’s going to be a tough year. It’s going to be a lot of work to alter and change direction a little bit.”

The remarks between AT&T’s John Stankey in a discussion with HBO CEO Richard Plepler, was obtained by the New York Times.

AT&T completed the $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, the parent of HBO, last month.

Stankey indicated that HBO will have to become more like streaming giants Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, to thrive in the new media landscape.

Stankey said HBO can sharply increase its subscriber base and the number of hours that viewers spend watching its shows, by producing more content, transforming itself “into something bigger and broader.”

Stankey also said they should be able to convert the time viewers spend watching HBO programs to hours a day.

“We need hours a day. It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes,” Stankey said.

He also compared the next year at HBO to childbirth.

“You will work very hard, and this next year will — my wife hates it when I say this — feel like childbirth,” he said. “You’ll look back on it and be very fond of it, but it’s not going to feel great while you’re in the middle of it. She says, ‘What do you know about this?’ I just observe, ‘Honey. We love our kids.'”

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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