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HBO

HBO Announces ‘Westworld’ Order via Cryptic Tweets and a Vine

westworldHBO on Monday announced that it has picked up ‘Westworld’ via a series of cryptic tweets and a Vine.

‘Westworld’ is based on the 1973 film of the same name written and directed by Michael Crichton. The series is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin” and will feature a star-studded cast led by Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, and Evan Rachel Wood.

The series was announced in July, but HBO officially ordered the first season on Monday. They took to Twitter and Vine (the Vine is the first piece of official content for the series) to make the announcement. See the Storify below for how it all unfolded: Read more

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TV Everywhere is Making Authenticated Content Easier to Access

TV EverywhereTV Everywhere is the technological ability to watch whatever you want, whenever, however you want it (from your phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). It’s included as part of your cable subscription service, so it comes at no extra charge to you. The best part is that it is easy. The TV Everywhere site (http://www.youcouldbewatching.tv/) by CTAM (Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing) will guide you through the log-in and authentication process online and direct you to the individual cable and networks apps so that you can start watching TV everywhere.

It’s So Much Fun to Hate ‘The Newsroom’

thenewsroom_season3Just as Fall TV malaise sets in, HBO brings back “The Newsroom” for its final season. Aaron Sorkin’s take on cable news is probably the funniest show to watch on social media, if only because people hate it so much. Or do they? Last night’s premiere played on this love-hate relationship with an episode on the Boston Marathon bombing to kick off the final five episodes. Here’s some of the best snark you’ll see all morning:  Read more

Foo Fighters Concert to Be Streamed on HBO’s Facebook Page

HBO’s new eight-part documentary ‘Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways’ premieres on the network tomorrow night at 11:00pm EST. The series – directed by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl – will explore America’s rich music history, taking viewers to different cities across the country.

Immediately following the premiere, the Foo Fighters will perform at Chicago’s ‘The Cubby Bear’ and the concert will be streamed live on the HBO Facebook page. For Facebook users without HBO access, tomorrow night is your night, as the concert will be only be available afterwards on HBO platforms.

This announcement was made a day before HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the premium cable network would begin offering a stand-alone streaming service in 2015. Both announcements demonstrate how ambitious the network is in a continuously crowding content space.

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Breaking: HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service Beginning in 2015

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HBO announced today plans to offer a stand-alone streaming service in 2015.  Viewers love HBO Go, and its ubiquity across all OTT platforms has led to much speculation about when HBO would make its content available outside of authenticating through a cable provider.

Below, full details via the release:

Speaking at the Time Warner Inc. Investor Meeting today, Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO, HBO, announced that the company will offer a stand-alone HBO streaming service in 2015.  Following a portion of his presentation focused on HBO’s domestic business, during which he cited significant growth opportunities inside the pay-TV universe, Plepler then turned to the current ten million broadband-only homes, which is projected to grow.

Plepler then added:

“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.”

 

Netflix and HBO Produce Some of the Most Social Shows, but How Do They Fund Them?

netflix-logoFrom ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ to ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘True Detective,’ Netflix and HBO are home to some of the most social shows on TV.

Netflix and HBO have very different business models that allow them to fund the original programming that has come to define them, and a recent infographic produced by Great Business Schools highlights these differences.

Some highlights from Great Business Schools’ research, followed by the infographic:

- To pay for one show, 520,834 people need to subscribe to Netflix  for two years, or, 1/600 of all Americans. For five shows, 2.6 million new subscribers are needed, or, 1/115 of all Americans

- Cost per episode:
Hemlock Grove: $4 million
Orange is the New Black: $4 million
House of Cards: $4.5 million before David Fincher (executive producer)

- HBO spends $1 billion a year on original content.
But Time Warner owns them…
So there’s lots of cash on hand.

Netflix is continuing to grow,
but they’re having to borrow through bonds to keep expanding.

Read more

Frank Underwood and Selina Meyer Trade Places

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The stars from two of social TV’s biggest hits are swapping personas while smiling for the cameras.

Entertainment Weekly is out with two different covers donning Kevin Spacey dressed as Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ “Veep” character Selina Meyer and Louis-Dreyfus dressed as Spacey’s “HOC” character Frank Underwood. Our reaction: Spacey looks quite lovely in red while sitting at “her” Oval Office desk; Dreyfus’ Spacey-pose at the Lincoln Statue might be more authentic if she loses the smile.

The covers are for the magazine’s 25 best characters on TV list. Some of the characters chosen come from “Orange Is the New Black,” “Mad Men,” “Scandal,” “Girls,” “Game of Thrones,” and more.

John Oliver’s Income Inequality Barometer: Whether You’re Paying for Or Stealing HBO

OliverHBO’s John Oliver led “Last Week Tonight” last night with a look at America’s income inequality issue. And for Oliver, the main measuring stick for which side of the gap you’re on comes down to HBO.

“A good way to know which side of it you’re on is if you’re currently paying for HBO or stealing it, ” Oliver said. The joke drew laughs from the audience, but Oliver was actually hitting on a real issue for HBO.

As we reported earlier in the year, HBOGO crashed during the “True Detective” finale due to so many people—including folks borrowing their friends and family members’ passwords—watching at the same time.  HBO’s CEO isn’t all that concerned about people stealing passwords to watch, so it seems for the time being, HBO is available for subscribers, and as Oliver describes them, “stealers.”

WATCH:

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‘Game of Thrones’ Creator’s Message to Fans Questioning His Health: ‘F*ck You’

George R.R. MartinOne of social TV’s biggest hits, “Game of Thrones,” is based on creator George R. R. Martin‘s bestselling novels. And in response to fans’ worry that his health might prevent him from finishing the final two novels in the series, Martin recently gave a strong response.

“I find that question pretty offensive. So f*ck you to those people,” Martin said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. He was responding to a question about fans worrying his health will prevent him from finishing the series.

There have been five volumes in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, for which HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was adapted from (and was the first title in the series).

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Will HBO’s Free Content Strategy Spark a New Wave?

HBOHBO wants you watching its programs even if they have to offer them for free— temporarily, that is.

A wide number of people feel no need to pay for a premium cable channel anymore, so the network is doing more than ever to lure them in, especially after premium channels have seen a decline in new subscribers while Netflix and other video streaming services are surging.

And if that wasn’t enough, HBO’s multi-million dollar juggernaut “Game of Thrones” is the most pirated show ever. HBO knows it has to get new subscribers in order to make up for the costs of production; being a “premium” channel is a luxury that simply won’t sustain them anymore.

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HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Premiere Available on Yahoo Screen

LeftoversHBO’s new drama “The Leftovers” premiered last night, with the first episode’s action revolving around the sudden, unexplainable disappearances of two percent of the world’s population.

And for those who didn’t watch the premiere or might not have HBOGO, HBO is making the first episode available on Yahoo Screen today through July 6.

This continues HBO’s habit of making its series and season premieres available on multiple platforms for both HBO and non-HBO subscribers. Last week, the premium entertainment network made the premiere episode from “True Blood’s” final season available on XBox and XBox One.

In April, the network made the series premiere of “Silicon Valley” available on YouTube.

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