“This will be transformative for our company,” Plepler said during his presentation at Time Warner’s investor meeting. Referring to the 10 million households in the U.S. that are broadband-only, Plepler said, “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”
He wasn’t able to provide many details and told the crowd he wasn’t able to answer questions because of proprietary concerns. The plan, said Plepler, is to “work with current partners and explore models with new partners.”
Plepler said the company’s experience with HBO Go, which has caught on quickly among millennial viewers, encouraged them to take the step of offering HBO as a stand-alone service.
“We will go beyond the wall and launch a stand-alone over-the-top service with the potential to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue,” said Plepler. “The international revenue possibilities could be just as large if not larger (with OTT). We have a huge opportunity in front of us. We will use all means at our disposal to go after it.”
HBO has long resisted selling its services apart from cable companies for fear of threatening their relationship. But, no doubt, spurred on by the success of Netflix, HBO is shaking up their business model.
We’re waiting to hear the reaction from cable operators. Could this be the first step in the unbundling of cable TV?