Time Warner Inc. launches charm campaign to warm pay-TV operators to HBO Now

With pay-TV operators viewing the new over-the-top service HBO Now as a disruptive, cannibalistic product, HBO parent company Time Warner Inc. has launched a charm campaign focused on cable, satellite and IPTV companies.

"For those customers that have left the video service, put HBO on your broadband package and let HBO help drive sales," says Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, recounting the central theme of the campaign to the Wall Street Journal.

According to the paper, HBO executives have "crisscrossed the country over the past few months," meeting with pay-TV executives, armed with polling data suggesting that only 3 percent of pay-TV customers will quit their current HBO service to acquire HBO Now.

Results have been fair to middling, with only Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) agreeing to market the OTT service. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Cox Communications are said to be in negotiations with Time Warner.

Meanwhile, HBO Now was reportedly a major complication in Time Warner's just-completed renewal talks with Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) for Turner Networks and HBO Now.

Ultimately, as the talks went down to the last hour in March, the two sides agreed on a compromise, in which HBO would be launched through Dish's new OTT service, Sling TV.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal story

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