HBO Goes Back to School


Looking to increase its presence on campuses around the country, Home Box Office has unveiled a marketing program aimed at convincing school administrators that they should offer the premium services to dorm rooms.

HBO's lodging and special markets group last week began disseminating a direct mail piece to college administrators touting the premium service's advantages in creating a more desirable on-campus housing environment for students. The mailer features images of original series The Sopranos and Carnivale, as well as theatricals Road to Perdition and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, over copy reading, "Enhance Your Residential Package … Excite Your Students!"

The mailer touts HBO's "innovative and compelling original series and documentaries, the biggest and best Hollywood movies, sports and music events" as having high appeal to college students.

To incent colleges, HBO is proffering schools a "student life allowance" under which they would receive $4 per room for making HBO available on a bulk basis over a three-year contract. The offer increases to $8 per room for a five-year agreement.

"College students, like business and leisure travelers, expect to see the same quality of entertainment in their rooms as they are accustomed to watching at home," said HBO vice president of lodging and special markets John Hagerty in a statement. "Schools that offer HBO increase the marketability of their on-campus housing as well as levels of student satisfaction with the campus lifestyle."