HBO's Plepler: Comcast, TWC, Charter missing out by not partnering with HBO Now

HBO chief executive Richard Plepler called out major U.S. broadband suppliers Comcast, Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR) and AT&T (NYSE: T) for not supporting his company's subscription streaming service, HBO Now.

"Why wouldn't you want to take a product like HBO … and make it a part of your package and share the revenue with us?" Plepler said, speaking at the WSJD event Tuesday in Laguna Beach, Calif. "We're having better conversations with some than others."

In May, HBO forged a notable deal with Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), which markets the stand-alone HBO Now SVOD service with its Optimum broadband packages. Executives for Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), however, have openly expressed concerns that the service will cannibalize their pay-TV businesses. 

Plepler said less than 1 percent of HBO Now's customers have come from the pay-TV ecosystem. (Over the summer, analysts projected that the service had passed 1 million subscribers after launching in April.) 

The service, Plepler said, is effectively targeting broadband users who don't have cable, satellite or telco TV services. Operators, he added are missing out on an opportunity to grow their broadband customer bases by not distributing the popular programming platform.

"This is going to be a tremendous expansion of their reach as well," he said, referring to the operators.

Meanwhile, asked about competition with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Plepler continued to deny that there is a rivalry between HBO and the No. 1 streaming service. 

"We over-index in their homes. They over-index in our homes," he said.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story (sub. req.)

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