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SHRUTI BAJPAI, COUNTRY HEAD, SOUTH ASIA, HBO ASIA
 
New Channels will only fragment the market Giving the viewers more choices But A bulk of output is still coming from the top notch

HBO is very popular among the youth. But how has the channel performed over the past one year in terms of financials?
I think we have done extremely well in the past one year, as the year before that was not quite difficult for us alone but for the entire industry as well. In terms of revenues, we have grown by 25% in the 1st quarter. In terms of advertisers, we have got a lot of support as the number has increased substantially.

How is your marketing strategy different from your counterparts?
Our marketing strategy is to really focus on our core properties. A lot of our marketing efforts are focused towards ‘Hollywood Premier League’. We also spend a significant amount of our marketing budget on the campaign called ‘Summers with HBO’. Whenever we market our core properties, we use multimedia as a marketing tool. It is primarily because the market has changed. More and more people are using the internet today. Look at Facebook as a success story. Where was it two years back? The answer is nowhere. But today Facebook has become a huge rage.

Are you feeling any heat from a host of new channels that have come into the market lately?
The new channels will only fragment the market giving the viewers more choices. But what you have to see is that the bulk of the output from Hollywood is coming either to HBO or to Star Movies, the rest of new channels are just showing what has already been shown on HBO or Star Movies before. Therefore, there is a fragmentation in the market. However, the quality programming still belongs to the top notch in the domestic circuit. The entry of new channels is not at all a threat because once the viewer knows that what all other channels are offering as compared to HBO, they’ll surely come back to us automatically.

DTH players are now offering this pay-per-title concept in India these days. Does that in any way affect the viewership of HBO?
Our experience says that this phenomenon coexist with the movie channel space across the globe. But it is not significant enough that it starts competing with the movie channels.

India is perhaps the only country in the world where watching English movies with subtitles is very popular. How has been your experience with it as some critics even support the fact that it destroys the movie watching experience?
We were the first ones in India to introduce subtitles and I think it has worked out pretty well. We have got a lot of positive feedback for this initiative. For every one person who says it destroys the movie watching experience, there are ten others who say that thank God you’ve got subtitles, I was not able to understand some parts of the movie.

HBO has recently completed 10 years in Indian market. According to you, how has the industry evolved over the past one decade?
A decade ago, there were just 100 channels, today there are 400. There is so much fragmentation already, but there is still a price war. However I think the next five years are going to be critical for the entire industry. Currently, DTH players are competing to grab a share of the market but soon they will move towards making money. Tata Sky says to the consumer pay me Rs. 300 and watch everything, then Dish TV in return says pay me Rs. 250 and watch everything. Once that stops, the market will start moving in the direction of growth.

 


10/08/2011 11:47pm

HBO has developed many original programs before and since 1997, which has earned the channel numerous Emmy awards.[15] As a subscription-only service, HBO does not carry "normal" commercials; instead the network runs promotions for upcoming HBO programs and behind-the-scenes featurettes between programs. This relieves HBO from some pressures to tone down controversial aspects of its programs, and allows for explicit content, such as graphic violence, sex, and profanity, to be aired.

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10/08/2011 11:52pm

HBO Latino largely serves as a simulcast of the main HBO channel, albeit with the alternate Spanish-language audio track (that can also be accessed on the main HBO channel, via the Secondary Audio Program function on TVs and digital cable-ready converter boxes) dubbed over the program, but with limited program substitutions and differences in network promotions featured in-between programs. HBO Family, along with HBO Latino, have the distinction of being the only HBO spin-offs with their own websites; all the others are integrated within the main HBO site. The site includes schedules and more.

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10/08/2011 11:55pm

On February 18, 2010, HBO launched HBO Go, a web site which features 600 hours of content available for streaming in standard or high definition. Content includes HBO original programming, movies, comedy specials, documentaries, sports, and late night adult programming. It is available to HBO subscribers of Verizon FIOS, AT&T U-verse, Google TV, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Suddenlink Communications, and Charter Communications. The HBO Go iPad, iPhone, and Android app launched on April 29, 2011. The app was downloaded over one million times in its first week, and had over three million downloads by the end of June 2011.

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11/08/2011 12:01am

HBO's original productions continue to be recognized as some of the most innovative, honored and critically acclaimed programming on television. The network began 2011 with four Golden Globes® Awards, more than any other network for the fourth year in a row, including two for the freshman breakout hit Boardwalk Empire; seven Peabodys including HBO Documentary Films' For Neda, HBO Films' Temple Grandin and HBO Miniseries' The Pacific; and seven Sports Emmys including Outstanding Sports Documentary for Lombardi. The HBO Documentary Films presentation of Strangers No More received an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

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