In terms of TV news this year, there hasn’t been a bigger deal than the reported nearly $250 million that Amazon forked out for at least two seasons of the upcoming TV series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”.
Amazon beat out several contenders for the coveted property, though one rival was never really in the running – HBO. Speaking at Business Insider’s Ignition 2017 media conference Wednesday, the premium cabler’s CEO Richard Plepler says they didn’t need to bid on the property because they already had their own big-budget fantasy franchise with “Game of Thrones”.
Plus with five separate “Game of Thrones” prequels in the works, the company wasn’t interested in further ventures into the fantasy genre: “I’d rather own our IP [intellectual property] 100%… and I’d rather have the ability to work with a product that is inextricably linked to our brand.” Besides, HBO’s sister company Warner Bros. Pictures will get a piece of the action anyway as they are co-producing it.
Plepler also says that while others may be spending more on content next year, HBO will compete by focusing on continuing to build a brand that stands for “curated excellence”. The company is reportedly on track for its biggest year in history in terms of subscriber and revenue growth. Their standalone service HBO Now is expected to be expanded to further international markets in coming years.