TVBizwire

Bewkes: HBO Could Eventually Become a Standalone Channel NY Post

HBO could one day be offered as a standalone service, not tied to any specific level of pay-TV subscription, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said yesterday, the New York Post reports.

HBO has been a part of cable packages since it started 38 years ago, but with overall cable subscriptions falling, is expected to report the loss of 1.5 million subscribers this year.

Bewkes said at a UBS media conference in New York that if HBO was "overly hindered by having to be part of $60, $80 or $100 packages, we could [sell the channel] through existing distributors" or via new digital platforms, such as Netflix, Google TV and Apple TV.

Such an a-la-carte offering by the leading premium pay-TV channel could boost HBO's subscriber level above its stagnant 30 million and add some profits to its bottom line, the report said.