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HBO: No plans to work with Netflix

HBO's "Game of Thrones" season 2 Daenerys- Emilia Clarke Jorah- Iain Glen Doreah- Roxanne McKee Irri- Amrita Acharia Kavaro- Steven Cole Rakharo- Elyes Gabel (Paul Schiraldi/PAUL SCHIRALDI PHOTOGRAPHY)

Premium TV channel HBO was quick to dispel any notion of forming a partnership with video rental service Netflix, the company said today.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings insinuated that his company could possibly form an agreement with HBO — either through a future content licensing agreement or content distribution deals — in its Q2 2012 letter to shareholders Yesterday. In the letter, Hastings wrote: “While we compete for content and viewing time with HBO, it is also possible we will find opportunities to work together – just as we do with other networks.”

HBO’s content is considered by many people as a very valuable commodity. HBO subscribers justify spending an extra $30 per month on their already expensive cable bills to watch shows like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, True Blood, and others. All of HBO’s original programming is only accessible through traditional TV subscriptions or through the channel’s streaming service HBO Go — meaning Netflix subscribers can’t watch it.

“We are not in discussions and have no plans to work with Netflix,” a HBO spokesperson told Reuters.

I’m not exactly sure why much attention was given to Hastings’ comments. Netflix previously branded itself as being more competitive with HBO than with other streaming video competitors, like Hulu and Amazon Prime. Also, HBO has been known to play hardball with Netflix by not only denying to license its TV shows, but also by forcing Netflix to purchase DVDs at full retail price for use in its DVD-by-mail rental service.

However, one possibility where Netflix and HBO may end up working together in the future could be in co-financing future original shows — a move that makes Netflix seem much more like an entertainment company than a movie rental service. But for now, HBO seems intent on not forming any kind of deal.

Copyright 2012, VentureBeat



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