HBO weighs going a la carte for first time since inception as Netflix nips at its heels

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes Monday said the company might offer HBO's service to consumers as a stand-alone product, rather than be tied to a pay-TV service subscription offering. It would be the first time in HBO's nearly four decades of operation that it would be offered a la carte.

Speaking at a UBS investor conference in New York, Bewkes said that if HBO were "overly hindered by having to be part of $60, $80 or $100 packages, we could [sell the channel] through existing distributors" or via new digital platforms.

Bewkes said HBO first would look at how HBO GO, it's TV Everywhere initiative that's been rolled out by several providers fares before deciding on other options.

The entertainment channel, best known for hits like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and True Blood, as well for a bevy of HBO-made movies, is expected to lose some 1.5 million subscribers this year as promotions offered by some cable operators expire.

The channel also is being pushed by services like Netflix, which offers previous season of many HBO series, and by other over-the-top delivery options.

Bewkes also said that distribution deal likely will be examined when it comes up for renewal soon.

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