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HBO CEO: Our DVD Biz ‘Bucking’ Trend

3 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

"True Blood"

Bill Nelson says HBO has no interest in creating competing streaming service with Netflix.

Original HBO programs on DVD and Blu-ray Disc continue to outperform global downward trends in packaged media, HBO CEO Bill Nelson told an investor group.

Speaking June 2 at the Nomura U.S. Media Summit in New York, Nelson said the HBO brand, which is synonymous with original programming, creators and actors, is well-established as a strong retail brand.

Such popular serials include ‘True Blood,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Boardwalk Empire” and catalog programs such as “The Sopranos.”

“Believe it or not, our DVD business is on an uptick, bucking the industry trend,” Nelson said. “It’s the result of our continued investment in original programming … and not only have we upped the quantity, but we’re upping the quality. As long as we continue to produce the types of programming we are [known for], I think that will continue.”

The CEO said the worst-case scenario for HBO content revenue on disc is that “it flattens.”

The emphasis on packaged media comes at a time when parent Time Warner Inc. is aggressively promoting HBO Go, an online streaming platform designed to allow HBO subscribers 24/7 free access to the pay-TV service’s content on myriad media devices, including Android phones and tablet computers.

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