Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes revealed elements of a strategy that could make an acquisition effort by Rupert Murdoch more difficult. Bloomberg reports that Bewkes wants to boost growth at premium network HBO, part of a plan to prove to investors that the company is better off on its own.
Time Warner has rejected a $75 billion buyout offer from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, arguing that it is better off as an independent company.
Bewkes may expand a $49-per-month trial introduced last year via Comcast, which offers Web access along with HBO and limited basic TV, the story notes.
“HBO was already developing ways to reach more consumers. The plan relies on more aggressive marketing, an upgraded HBO Go app and expanded access to the network for broadband-only customers of companies like Comcast who don’t want to buy a full cable-TV package,” Bloomberg reports.
HBO will offer additional packages in the next year as a way to draw more consumers to the premium channel, the story adds. The offers will be similar to Comcast’s Internet Plus plans. The risk of these plans, however, is that some pay-TV customers might cancel their subscriptions if Internet-only plans are widely available, the piece points out.
But HBO wants to convince its top pay-TV distributors that making the service more affordable will also benefit cable systems, Bloomberg adds.