AT&T executive lays out strategy for HBO post-Game of Thrones

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

Game of Thrones is popular. It’s the most-tweeted-about-scripted-TV-show ever popular. It’s breaks-records-ratings-for-HBO popular. Viewers are happy to be along for the ride, but business types are wondering how they’re ever going to top it, and none more so the business types at AT&T, which purchased HBO parent company Time Warner last year.

Now, I’d be pretty happy if HBO just kept putting out high-quality content like it’s been doing for years, but business types are always about growth, so for better or worse. HBO is going to increase its output. Or at least, that’s how John Stankey, an AT&T executive installed as the new CEO of WarnerMedia, put it to the Dallas Business Journal after the company’s annual shareholder meeting. “Game of Thrones is kind of a ‘once-in-a-decade’ or ‘once-in-a-two-decade’ kind of moment,” he said. “The goal is to have a collection of content that keeps the customer permanently engaged,” and added that the company planned to have something “big” come out every single month.


Chicago White Sox Southpaw Game Of Thrones Mascot On Fire Dragon Bobblehead
Chicago White Sox Southpaw Game Of Thrones Mascot On Fire Dragon Bobblehead /

Chicago White Sox Southpaw Game Of Thrones Mascot On Fire Dragon Bobblehead

Buy Now!

Buy Now!

So rather than look for another hit the size of Game of Thrones, Stankey plans to spread the wealth around and offer a lot of high-quality shows, and if one happens to take off, all the better. It’s not a bad strategy on paper, and there are a bunch of interesting HBO shows on the horizon, including Watchmen, Joss Whedon’s The Nevers, J.J. Abrams’ Demimonde, and the Game of Thrones prequel show, not to mention the non-genre stuff they’re still making like Big Little Lies and Barry and so forth. And it’s smart to not try and recreate the success of Game of Thrones, which is something of a lightning-in-a-bottle situation, as Stankey admits.

On the other hand, this is a lot more content than HBO has put out in the past, and I worry that its reputation for quality might get diluted if it can’t focus on nurturing those few shows that really have a chance to make an impact.

Whatever happens, the post-Game of Thrones space will make for interesting watching.

To stay up to date on everything Game of Thrones, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Watch Game of Thrones for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels

h/t The Dallas Business Journal