HBO programming president Casey Bloys assured TV critics gathered at the TCA Summer Press Tour on Wednesday that the pay cable network would not “dilute it’s brand” under new AT&T owners.
“There are no plans to dilute the HBO brand in favor of volume of programming,” said Bloys during his executive session. “Nobody is asking to us to take pitches of a ‘Love Boat’ reboot or anything like that.”
The comments come a month after WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said HBO must get “bigger and broader” at a town hall to employees shortly after AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.
During AT&T’s second quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Stankey clarified his own comments, saying that all he wants to do is give the network the ability to greenlight projects they’re already developing, but may not have had the finances in the past to do so. Bloys mentioned that the past few years under Time Warner had been one of budget tightening. “
“We were at a corporate entity preparing itself for sale,” he said. “What I heard in the meeting is someone talking about investing in programming, which is music to our ears.”
AT&T’s plans for HBO could end up being the natural result of a merger of two companies from different parts of the industry (distribution vs. content). HBO CEO Richard Plepler ran the network with very little corporate interference from Time Warner.
“I understand that any time there is an acquisition there is anxiety,” said Bloys. “The fact that [the town hall] got out is not a shock.”