HBO Ups Content Revenue on 'Thrones' Disc Sales30 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Home Box Office April 30 reported first-quarter (ended March 31) operating income of $464 million, up 11% from operating income of $417 million during the previous-year period.
The premium TV channel said content revenue increased 13% ($24 million), largely from packaged media sales of Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said first-month disc sales of the third season of "Thrones" was the highest of any previous HBO original content.
HBO, which is owned by Time Warner, also said distribution costs in the quarter increased primarily due to the costs associated with increased home video revenue.
The fourth season premiere of “Game of Thrones” reached an audience of more than 17 million viewers, well above last season’s average of 14.4 million viewers, making it HBO’s most watched program since “The Sopranos” finale in 2007. New serial “True Detective” averaged an audience of 11.9 million viewers per episode across all platforms and delivered the largest audience for an HBO original series in its first season.
Notably, Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season won three Home Media Magazine Awards, including Best Current Series, Best Fantasy Disc and Best AV Quality — TV, for titles released in 2013.
Separately, Time Warner said home entertainment revenue, including electronic sellthrough, from movies dropped 19% to $382 million, while home entertainment revenue from TV shows fell 30% to $114 million. Time Warner attributed much of the revenue decline to the timing of key releases.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros., which includes Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, saw operating income skyrocket 40% ($106 million) to $369 million, due largely to the theatrical results from The Lego Movie and 300: Rise of an Empire, which have generated $450 million and $330 million, respectively, at the global box office through April 27.
Overall studio revenue increased 14% ($385 million) to $3.1 billion.