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Marketplace Morning Report

When the vapes go out in The City

Jun 25, 2019

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Can Time Warner’s HBO continue to succeed in the world of prestige TV?

Adriene Hill Feb 8, 2017
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Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau attends the Season 6 premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Time Warner released its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday morning, revealing that it earned $1.25 a share and pulled in $7.89 billion in revenue — figures that beat expectations. 

Successful movies such as “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” helped the company with those numbers, but what about the small screen? How is Time Warner’s HBO holding up now that the prestige TV business has become a lot more cutthroat?

There’s now Amazon. Hulu. Netflix.

“HBO has a lot more competition than they’ve had in the recent past,” said Paul Verna, a senior analyst at eMarketer. So far, he said the cable network is holding its own. “HBO still commands a very, very high price for its content,” Verna said. But it came away from the recent Golden Globes empty handed. Its show “Girls” starts its final season this Sunday.

And mega-hit “Game of Thrones” has only two seasons left.

“Producers of content often go through cycles; I certainly remember when the ‘Sopranos’ left,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

HBO has a strong track record, he said, of finding the next big show, and a little time to figure it out what, other than dragons, will grab attention.

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