Did Time Warner Fire A Warning Shot At Studios That Sell Films To HBO?

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
Global Showbiz Briefs: Sitcom Showcase, ITV ‘Celebrity Splash’, HBO Go Asia & More

It sure sounded that way a little while ago when Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was telling analysts about the reasons why he likes HBO GO, the premium channel’s new streaming service. Subscribers frequently use it to catch up on HBO‘s original series — and the company is “dramatically increasing the number of original series on HBO.” As a result: “We have the luxury of choice if we want to drop a studio, and we’re going to evaluate that.” The channel didn’t renew its carriage deal with DreamWorks Animation; beginning in 2013 its films will appear on Netflix in the premium network window. HBO also gave up DreamWorks Pictures live-action films in 2010 when distribution rights shifted from Paramount to Disney. But last year HBO signed a deal with Summit to show its films released beginning in 2013. HBO also offers films from Fox, Universal, Focus Features — and, of course, its sister studio Warner Bros. Bewkes says that, in addition to being popular online, original series fuel worldwide growth. Some 93% of the people who use HBO GO say that it makes them more loyal to the channel, Bewkes says.

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