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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 25, 2012

HBO Dashes Rumors of a Content Partnership with Netflix

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

As the way Americans receive their entertainment changes radically, thanks to the Internet, entertainment companies and digital service providers have been scrambling in a kind of “musical chairs” game of content partnerships. As of late, rumors have been afloat that HBO has been venturing a partnership with streaming video and DVDs-by-mail company, Netflix, thanks to hints dropped by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to shareholders.

“While we compete for content and viewing time with HBO, it is also possible we will find opportunities to work together - just as we do with other networks,” said Hastings and Netflix CFO David Wells (News - Alert) in the letter.

Turns out, it's not going to happen, which will disappoint fans of popular HBO series such as “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood.” This is according to HBO, which says it has no intention of striking a deal with Netflix, reports state.

“We are not in discussions and have no plans to work with Netflix,” said HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson.

The pivot point for any alliance between HBO and Netflix would have been around HBOGo, HBO's vehicle that offers current and past programs, such as “Sex in the City” and “Boardwalk Empire”, to its subscribers via an on-demand service available on computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Hastings told analysts in a conference call after Netflix announced its earnings that his original comments were meant to highlight that “we're just another network, and then when you have multiple networks, they often find ways of working together,” but he clarified that no agreement with HBO was pending. 

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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