What could HBO OTT service mean for pay-TV?

Will HBO's move into OTT signal a "red wedding" for pay-TV?

Will HBO’s move into OTT signal a “red wedding” for pay-TV?

In a week that saw the shock announcement from HBO CEO Richard Plepler that the broadcaster planned to launch a standalone OTT service in 2015, analysts have been speaking of the potential repercussions of such a move for the wider ecosystem.

“HBO’s decision to target non-pay-TV households with a new D2C offering could prove a significant blow for service providers in the US and other markets that are finding it increasingly difficult to make their traditional TV offerings appealing to streaming-savvy younger consumers,” Ted Hall, Senior Analyst with Ovum, told IP&TV News this morning.

Hall observed that the implications for pay-TV providers could prove especially significant: “Bold moves by the likes of the WWE, which has repositioned its entire business around its WWE Network streaming service, and HBO appear to mark the start of a worrying trend for pay-TV operators,” he explained

Furthermore, Hall said the decision could inspire emulation among the pay-TV operators themselves…

“Such moves will likely accelerate the US MSO’s own standalone OTT strategies, as they come under increasing pressure to follow the lead of some of their European counterparts and adapt to the fast-changing market dynamics that are reshaping the subscription-TV landscape. Experimentation in the pricing, bundling, segmentation and delivery of their services is crucial if they are to better serve existing and prospective customers.”

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