In defense of AT&T's plans to expand HBO
HBO's new overseer, John Stankey, telling the boutique pay cable channel that AT&T will invest more money so it can create broader programming is better than the alternative -- that HBO would have to cut costs, says Andrew Wallenstein. Regardless, HBO knows it can't rest on its laurels. "Don’t think for a second anyone at HBO is bemoaning the impending loss of its boutique status; these guys are hungry to scale up for for the fight against new rivals," says Wallenstein. "Stankey may have looked like a hardliner by demanding HBO exceed 40% penetration of the pay-TV world but (HBO CEO Richard) Plepler already publicly eyed the 50% barrier a few months ago." ALSO: Some HBO-connected producers expressed relief with AT&T's plans, with one fearing that HBO could become obsolete like IBM computers.
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