Box Office (HBO), a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company,
produces, markets, and distributes media products for both film
and television. It operates a 24-hour premium cable channel with
transmission across the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the
U.S. Virgin Islands. The mainstay of its programming is non-X-rated
motion pictures, with originally produced documentaries, movies,
series, comedy, music, movies, and sports specials. In addition
to the self-named premium channel HBO, the corporation operates
Cinemax, another premium channel, and owns 50% of Comedy Central.
It also maintains equity interests in E! Entertainment. Internationally,
its services include HBO Asia, HBO Brazil, HBO Czech, HBO Hungary,
HBO Spektrum, a Hungarian language documentary channel, and throughout
Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean Basin as HBO Ole.
in 1972, HBO was developed as a pay-movie/ special service cable
operation in New York. In November of the same year, service was
expanded when a National Hockey League game from Madison Square
garden was transmitted to 365 Service Electric Cable TV subscribers
in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. After three years of expansion using
microwave technology, HBO presented the heavyweight boxing championship
fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in Manila via satellite.
Its success lead to HBO becoming the first in the television industry
to use satellites for regular transmission of programming.
the national growth of cable television, came competition
from other companies offering premium channel service. In an effort
to ensure product, Showtime, The Movie Channel negotiated a deal
with Paramount Pictures, giving them exclusive rights to all motion
pictures distributed. HBO countered the move by forming a new motion
picture company with Columbia Pictures and CBS in 1983--Tri-Star.
Later, the company obtained exclusive rights to films from Silver
Screen Partners, Columbia Pictures, Savoy Pictures, and 20th Century
company expanded its reach into broadcast television in 1990 with
the formation of HBO Independent Productions, developed to produce
series television. Its first show was Roc, which aired on
the FOX network. Acquisition of Citadel Entertainment in 1991 furthered
HBO's reach, developing programming for CBS and ABC, as well as
for cable channels TNT, USA Lifetime, and HBO.
cable and broadcast television industry were severely affected by
increasing use of videocassettes by the public. In the 1980s, sales
and rentals of pre-recorded video tapes detrimentally affected viewership.
HBO further diversified, entering into this area as well. In 1984,
with Thorn EMI Entertainment, the company formed EMI/HBO Home Video
(now known as HBO Home Video). This division of HBO both acquires
and distributes home video programs in the United States and Canada.
Courtesy of HBO
cable industry giant, the Home Box Office corporation initiated
several new technologies, marketing strategies, and programming
ideas to television, resulting in its receipt of the Golden Ace,
the cable industry's highest overall honor. Some of its innovations
include: in 1980, pay -tv's first comprehensive national advertising
campaign; in 1981 the first made-for-pay-tv movie, The Terry Fox
Story; in 1986, full-time time scrambling in an effort to fight
piracy; and in 1991 multi-plexing of HBO and Cinemax.
George. Inside HBO: The Billion Dollar War Between HBO, Hollywood,
And The Home Video Revolution. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1988.
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