Tags: john malone | hbo | streaming

Liberty's John Malone Sees HBO as Losing Streaming Wars

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By    |   Thursday, 21 November 2019 01:18 PM

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone reportedly doesn’t see HBO being too successful in its bid to enter the crowded streaming market.

“I don’t see the growth for HBO in going this route,” Malone told CNBC’s David Faber in an exclusive interview on Thursday. “I really have trouble seeing HBO being able to get the scale to be able to be at the top of the chart in terms of direct consumer subscribers.”

AT&T will offer the new platform for $14.99 a month, a level that seems in turns too high and too low. Even after spending hundreds of millions on the service -- adding popular reruns like “Friends” and new shows from Conan O’Brien and Mindy Kaling to HBO hits such as “Game of Thrones” -- the company didn’t think it could get consumers to cough up more.

Malone believes HBO would have a hard time attracting new subscribers and the company also doesn’t have the capacity yet to become an international player.

“The way I look at it is in the U.S., if you wanted HBO, you already have HBO. So I don’t see they gain a lot of new customers,” Malone said.

“They certainly don’t have the budget to defend and protect their content supply long-term, and they don’t own the rights to international distribution and it will take them years to develop and hold onto enough content to be a real player internationally,” he added.

Wall Street seemed encouraged that HBO Max’s price would leave room for consumers to subscribe to multiple services, Bloomberg said.

Still, AT&T faces a daunting challenge. The Dallas-based company expects to spend $4 billion on a service that won’t be profitable until 2025. And it has to keep both consumers and investors happy.

The company thinks a trove of high-quality programming for adults and kids will prevail in the increasingly crowded industry. Launching in May 2020, HBO Max will offer 10,000 hours of content, AT&T said Tuesday in a briefing at Warner Bros., the Burbank, California, studio where “Casablanca” and “Friends” were filmed.

The service will include classic HBO shows, new programs, and a slate of acquired titles and content from the Warner library.

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Liberty Media Chairman John Malone reportedly doesn’t see HBO being too successful in its bid to enter the crowded streaming market.
john malone, hbo, streaming
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2019-18-21
Thursday, 21 November 2019 01:18 PM
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