Deal-Making a ‘Go’ for HBO

3/30/2010 6:57 AM Eastern

New York — HBO is moving toward deals with other
distributors after early “TV Everywhere” rollouts with
Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV and Comcast have
gone well.

Eric Kessler, co-president of HBO, told an audience
gathered at Multichannel News/B&C’s “TV Everywhere
& Anywhere” breakfast event here on March 24 that the
premium programmer is engaged in conversations with
a number of different distributors about the platform,
which enables authenticated subscribers to access content
from multiple touch points.

In response to a query by
B&C executive editor Melissa
Grego, Kessler said
those discussions are at
different stages, with some
touching on the authentication
process, billing systems
and marketing, while
others involve “launches
and deployment dates.”

Kessler, who said this
business is “not about tomorrow,
but setting the
table for the future,” anticipates
some additional distribution
will be made over the next
few months. Currently,
HBO Go is available to Verizon
FiOS TV and Internet customers who subscribe to
HBO, as they can access more than 600 hours of content,
for no additional charge, by logging in at either the premium
network’s site or via a Verizon site.
Comcast off ers the same 600-plus hours of HBO content
through its Fancast Xfinity TV online service.

Asked why the programmer is not going directly to
users with HBO Go, Kessler said that such an a la carte
option doesn’t work well from business, affi liate and consumer

He noted that of the 115 million TV homes in the U.S.
today, 104 million purchase multichannel video packages,
so the potential additions represent a relatively
small base; the economics don’t compute because of
high-acquisition costs.


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