You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T Chief Wants More HBO Content Over Next 3 Years

SANTA BARBARA – The CEO of AT&T said he “will be disappointed” if his company has not attracted more people to watch HBO more regularly, and suggested the company could reallocate capital within its WarnerMedia unit over the next three years to make that happen.

“It would be a very big disappointment” if AT&T has not gotten audiences to engage with HBO every day, said AT&T chief Randall Stephenson, and not just when outsize series like “Game of Thrones” run through a  fresh cycle. He said WarnerMedia CEO John Stanlkey was in the process of examining the business to see how money should be apportioned to not only HBO but the Turner suite of cable networks.

Stephenson made his comments at a conference held here to tout AT&T’s efforts to grow advertising revenue and further monetize its recent $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner earlier this year.

The telecommunications chief reiterated his vision of HBO as a place for “premium content, premium documentaries, premium scripted series,” and not a place to offer any kind of program consumer might want. Stephenson said rival streaming outlet Netflix was fulfilling that role.

Stephenson suggested AT&T could seek to buy other media assets, possibly after it worked to reduce the debt it generated by buying WarnerMedia. He expected debt reduction to be achieved by 2019.

He placed specific value on CNN, the cable-news outlet that cane under scrutiny during the company’s effort to buy Time Warner. President Trump often criticizes CNN, raising speculation that AT&T might sell it off to complete its merger.

But Stephenson said CNN was important to the company. “Live, time-sensitive content – we think of that as a ‘killer app’, in today’s media world, he said. Stephenson also indicated the AT&T board valued Americans’ First Amendment rights, and saw CNN as emblematic of that view.  I think a free press is essential,” he said.








More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content