HBO's Plepler: OTT service isn't 'either/or, it's additive'

Speaking in Los Angeles Thursday, HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler staunchly resisted claims that his company's soon-to-launch, a la carte, over-the-top programming service would "cannibalize" HBO's existing premium cable business.

"This isn't either/or, it's addititve," he told attendees and press at a morning gathering at the Paley Center for Media. (FierceCable did not attend the event.) "I don't think it's cannibalistic at all. We're going to have a big business [with pay-TV operators] and we're going to have a big business with new partners."

Plepler reiterated HBO's claims that there are somewhere between 10 million to 15 million homes that don't have pay-TV, but do have broadband and would like to subscribe to HBO.

Plepler said he's told HBO's pay-TV partners, "There's gold in the hills," and that "they agree there's an enormous opportunity out there."

Through its OTT venture, Plepler said he hopes that HBO learns to better establish a brand identity on its own and without the help of pay-TV partners. "We've relied way too much on our partners to market us," he said. "They have other responsibilities." 

Addressing a range of other topics, Plepler doesn't believe viewing on mobile devices poses a mortal threat to the living room set, noting, "Who wouldn't prefer to watch [Game of Thrones] on a 50-inch flatscreen?"

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story

Related links:
It's really happening: HBO sets a la carte streaming plans for 2015
Comcast exec Burke's surprise at HBO and CBS announcements doesn't seem genuine
CBS, Moonves lose nerve on tough OTT position with launch of All Access

Suggested Articles

Sling TV has joined the Watch Party craze with a co-watching feature that includes real-time video and chat interactions.

Cable, satellite, and telecom pay TV providers should expect one of the worst years ever for cord cutting, according to eMarketer.

Comcast may be under pressure to split up its cable and media businesses and one analyst said that such a move could unlock value for both assets.