Netflix Reaches Out to HBO, HBO Turns Up Their Nose

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Netflix recently released their Q2 results, announcing a return to profitability after taking a $5M hit in Q1. The company didn’t bring on as many new subscribers as expected, including a narrow miss in Latin America, the UK and Ireland where the company recently launched. In spite of this miss, the company plans to go in the red again next quarter in order to fund an expansion deeper into Europe. Netflix also spent a part of their report talking up the advantages of convincing HBO to come onboard with Netflix, irregardless of the two companies’ recent rocky past

Looking at those two sections from Netflix together, it reads like a love letter or to be more precise, a pitch to HBO to collaborate. If the back seasons of one current hit HBO show were on Netflix (i.e. Game of Thrones), think how many HBO subscriptions that could drive. 

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HBO has put a tremendous amount of effort into their HBO GO service, steadfastly refusing to license their content to any other streaming service. HBO and Netflix have both described each other as primary competitors, and given that HBO may be producing the most coveted content on TV today, finding a way to collaborate would be a major coup for Netflix, even if such a collaboration also increased interest in HBO subscriptions. However, it doen’t appear that we will learn how mutually beneficial such a relationship might be anytime soon.

HBO rushed to pour cold water on the possibilities that the Netflix CEO raised in a letter to shareholders, making it clear it had no intentions of making a deal with Hastings, who often singles out HBO as a chief competitor.