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Yesterday morning, during a Time Warner investor meeting, Home Box Office Chairman and CEO Richard Pepler said that HBO will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top service that would allow consumers to watch HBO content without having a cable subscription – and let HBO reap what he characterized as hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue.

hbo latinoHe said HBO will sell stand-alone services in the United States and two other countries, with the aim of expanding eventually to every nation that it currently reaches via cable.

Whether HBO Latino will be part of this initiative or whether either of the two non-U.S. launch countries will be in Latin America are still to be determined. A spokesperson for HBO Latino told Portada, “At this time we are not elaborating beyond the statement that was issued today.”

Overall I think that a streaming HBO Latino has potential. We know that Hispanics are entertainment-hungry and digitally savvy, and brands are eager to engage with them through new channels.

Karina Dobarro, vice president and managing director of multicultural brand strategy at Horizon Media, notes that HBO will not necessarily include ads in its over-the-top offering; it may use a Netflix-like subscription model instead

But let’s play what-if, as long as HBO is thinking about shaking things up

Anel Hooper, associate media director for Bromley Communications, thinks this is a definite win for consumers. “There are a lot of cord-cutters out there. They’re trying to find other sources to watch television programs,” she says. While Netflix doesn’t include advertising, she points out that Hulu does – and advertising could be part of HBO’s plan to earn millions more dollars.

Maria Lopez Knowles
Maria Lopez Knowles

This move absolutely makes sense for consumers, and therefore for HBO, according to Maria Lopez-Knowles, CMO of Pulpo Media. She says, “Fragmented media and distributed content is the new reality, especially among Hispanics and the Hispanic Millennial in particular. Consumers now own both the remote control and the Programming Executive title. They choose to consume content and stream programming when they want to and in their own device of choice.” Based on this, she adds, advertising on an HBO OTT service makes perfect sense. “It’s a great idea whose time has come,” she says. And, of course, it makes even better sense for advertisers that want to reach highly mobile Hispanics.

Whether Bromley recommends advertising on streaming video to clients depends on the demographic they’re trying to reach, according to Hooper. “If the target demographic is using their smartphones and tablets and streaming, then yes, we have recommended that to our clients.”

Lee Vann, Captura Group
Lee Vann, Captura Group

Lee Vann, CEO of Captura Group, says, “Overall I think that a streaming HBO Latino has potential.  We know that Hispanics are entertainment-hungry and digitally savvy, and brands are eager to engage with them through new channels.  They key will be for HBO to curate and produce content that appeals to Hispanics in a relevant and authentic way.  If they can accomplish this, Hispanics will watch, and brands will follow.”

Not all advertisers may be ready to jump on board an over-the-top HBO, Lopez-Knowles says. “But the more progressive advertisers are certainly starting to understand that we’ve entered a brave, new world.”

What: Netflix has announced it is planning to raise US $400 million in debt to fund its European expansion and the creation of new shows.
Why it matters: Following this move, Netflix could match HBO’s number of global subscribers and produce the same volume of original content.

NetflixNetflix has announced it is planning to raise US $400 million in debt to fund European expansion and the creation of new shows. The battle between Netflix and HBO is not over. In the last quarter, Netflix outdistanced HBO in terms of its number of US subscribers. However, Netflix show House of Cards has won the kind of awards HBO is used to winning. Netflix is still far behind from HBO’s more than 100 million global subscribers and doesn’t produce nearly the volume of original content.

According to a study by TV agent Peter Micelli, the average episode of original content costs Netflix around US $4 million.”At US $900 million of total long-term debt, we will have an extremely modest debt-to-equity ratio,” CEO Reed Hastings said in the company’s fourth-quarter letter to shareholders.

Source: Theverge.com

What: Netflix has announced it is planning to raise US $400 million in debt to fund its European expansion and the creation of new shows.
Why it matters: Following this move, Netflix could match HBO’s number of global subscribers and produce the same volume of original content.

NetflixNetflix has announced it is planning to raise US $400 million in debt to fund European expansion and the creation of new shows. The battle between Netflix and HBO is not over. In the last quarter, Netflix outdistanced HBO in terms of its number of US subscribers. However, Netflix show House of Cards has won the kind of awards HBO is used to winning. Netflix is still far behind from HBO’s more than 100 million global subscribers and doesn’t produce nearly the volume of original content.

According to a study by TV agent Peter Micelli, the average episode of original content costs Netflix around US $4 million.”At US $900 million of total long-term debt, we will have an extremely modest debt-to-equity ratio,” CEO Reed Hastings said in the company’s fourth-quarter letter to shareholders.

Source: Theverge.com

hoHBO Latin America announced the creation of a panregional Advertising Sales team for Cinemax that will be based in Miami, and operate under the leadership of Gabriel Diaz.

Gabriel will report directly to Renata da Conceição. “In order to further support our advertising clients, as well as the continual growth of the Latin American market, we are in the process of expanding our regional Ad Sales team. Headed by Gabriel, this new operation represents a first step towards serving clients aspiring to take their business to the next level,” said Emilio Rubio, President of Distribution and New Business for HBO Latin America.

Gabriel will lead the panregional sales team in promoting the benefits of investing in ads aired on Cinemax. Previously, Gabriel held the role of Ad Sales Director for Media Mix Sales in Miami, and, prior to this, was the National Sales Director for Radio Caracas Television in Venezuela.