The CEO of AT&T announced that the company will allocated funds and resources to HBO from other parts of the newly-acquired Time Warner’s business to boost program investments. All this is part of the giant’s plan to compete more seriously with Netflix.
Randall Stephenson also said the data provided by the telecom and television giant will help building an advertising business based on analysis to help the entire television industry as well as media players competing with Facebook and Google.
“We think we have a period of several years to emerge and make our way”, said Randall Stephenson said in an interview.
AT&T acquired Time Warner for 80 billion USD in 2016.
At an investor conference organized by the Goldman Sachs Group this Wednesday, the executives of other major media companies were faced with questions about how to deal with consumer resistance to continue to pay for large cable TV packages as well as to pave the way for streaming directly to consumers.
At the event, Randall Stephenson said that the denials of customers from AT&T’s paid TV has diminished despite the recent rise in prices for the video streaming service DirecTV. He also rejected the idea that HBO and Netflix are direct competitors, pointing out that Netflix is like Walmart in video streaming industry, while HBO is the luxury brand Tiffany’s.
In his interview, Randall Stephenson adds that AT&T is trying to catch up with Netflix across the vast majority of consumers. At the same time, the company can redirect resources to create original programs for its Turner cable network to HBO. Turner’s TNT and TBS channels can broadcast HBO content, which can direct more viewers to HBO.
Randall Stephenson says HBO, which spent 3.7 billion USD on content last year, is unlikely to invest 11-12 billion USD, which Netflix is expected to spend this year. In his words, WarnerMedia, which includes CNN and the film studio Warner Bros, could catch up with Netflix.