HBO takes on Netflix with OTT

PLEPLER_Richard2_04US premium cabler HBO will launch an over the top service in the US.

HBO CEO Richard Plepler told investors in HBO parent company Time Warner that the HBO OTT service will roll out in 2015 and be ‘transformative’ for the company.

HBO already runs a TV Everywhere service, HBO GO,but the OTT move means that US consumers will be able to access its programming without a pay TV subscription.

Plepler noted that there are about ten million US homes that do not have a pay TV service but do have broadband.

The HBO boss told financial analysts the OTT service has the potential to generate ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars.

“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” Plepler said. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”

He added: “We will work with our current partners. And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.”

Launch date and details of the service are scant, but analysts said the launch was a clear move by HBO to take on Netflix, which has in turn been investing heavily in high-end premium drama and targeting HBO customers.

Netflix’s share price took an immediate hit in the wake of the news, and its latest financial results, but recovered  through the day.

Read Next