HBO: No to Netflix
It appears unlikely that HBO would want to upset its traditional cable, telco, and satellite affiliates by playing ball with Netflix, which is causing a ruckus with a new Internet-only video-on-demand (VoD) deal with new premium programmer EPIX, which follows Netflix's earlier agreement with Starz Entertainment LLC . EPIX, for its part, is trying not to ruffle too many cable feathers, by preventing Netflix from offering new movies until 90 days after they debut on EPIX's linear channel. (See Netflix-EPIX Deal Puts Pressure on Cable .)
HBO, which is part of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), appears more comfortable appeasing its affiliate masters using TV Everywhere strategies that extend subscription services to the online world via operator-controlled video hubs or Websites operated by the programmers themselves. HBO, for example, is authenticating its subscribers via its "HBO Go" service. (See Verizon Gets First Taste of 'HBO GO' Portal .)
"There is value in exclusivity," HBO co-president Eric Kessler told Bloomberg, adding that consumers "are willing to pay a premium for high quality, exclusive content."
But, despite Kessler's reluctance, Netflix is interested in having a dialogue. "We would love to do a deal as well with HBO," Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey told the news outlet.
Unless it can change HBO's mind with an offer it can't refuse, Netflix and its customers will have to be content with renting out DVDs of past seasons of HBO's series.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable