AT&T to invest more in HBO’s original content


John Stankey, the new head of AT&T’s entertainment division, said that the company plans to boost HBO’s budget for original programming to keep pace with its competitors.
“I fully expect we’re going to be investing heavier in content development at HBO,” Stankey said in an interview, according to Bloomberg.
The executive, a phone-company veteran, is now in charge of Time Warner’s three units: HBO, Turner Broadcasting (which includes CNN, TNT and TBS) and the Warner Bros. studio.
In turn, in an interview with New York Times, Stankey said, “HBO is a tremendous brand. I think they’ve done a phenomenal job.” According to the executive, “they’ve got a funnel and an opportunity to do even more. And I’m very excited personally about opening up those opportunities for them to pursue it and build more audience and more engagement. Because at the end of the day, we want our technology and we want our content to drive more customer engagement. If we have the opportunity to do that by investing we are going to invest to make that happen.”
Stankey also stated that the company plans to expand the streaming and direct-to-consumer services. “Whether it’s HBO or Turner or CNN or any other assets, over time you have to have direct relationship with the consumer where you can gauge how many minutes, or how many hours, you’re getting with that end user. And that is the North Star we’re following here”, he said.
On Tuesday, June 12, a federal judge authorized the USD 85.4 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner. Judge Richard Leon said the US government did not give enough evidence to indicate that the agreement harms market competition.