HBO will launch a stand-alone over-the-top service for its content next year, chief executive Richard Plepler revealed today.
The network’s acclaimed TV shows, such as The Sopranos, True Detective, Girls and The Wire, are currently unavailable on existing over-the-top services such as Netflix.
But if you’re reading from the UK, don’t get too excited just yet - HBO’s service will be limited to the US at first.
Speaking at an investor presentation for parent company Time Warner inc today, Plepler said HBO’s plans would be “transformative” and would see it go after the potential audience of millions “outside the multi-channel” universe.
Currently, HBO shows in the US are only available to satellite or cable TV users, and are only available in the UK on satellite channel Sky Atlantic. Sky’s premium content channel has an exclusivity agreement with HBO until 2020.
Speaking to investors and analysts in New York today, Plepler said:
That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. 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.
Earlier Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes had told investors he would increase adjusted earnings per share to more than $8 by 2018. Last year, adjusted earnings stood at $3.51 per share.
Investors appear to have responded positively to Bewkes and Plepler's plans, as Time Warner's share price jumped over three per cent in early morning trading.
There was not such good news for stand-alone service Netflix as it learned of a new rival in town, shares in the streaming website dropped by a similar percentage.