Media mogul Rupert Murdoch would own a laundry list of media properties if his pursuit of Time Warner is successful.
But the “Holy Grail” he’s after is HBO, according to Porter Bibb, a managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners LLC.
Bibb thinks acquiring HBO is a big part of Murdoch’s pursuit of Time Warner. The reasons are simple: HBO is unlike any property Murdoch currently owns, it has an endlessly growing library of premier content, and serves as a direct competitor to the streaming service Netflix while making nearly six times as much money.
“HBO is the logical competitor to Netflix. It has the content, 30 years of original content production experience, a global franchise, and is already streaming OTT in Scandinavia (keeping Netflix from getting any real traction there),” Bibb told Business Insider in an email.
Both Netflix and HBO would be new frontiers if Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, owned either of them. But HBO is a far better acquisition than Netflix because of several built-in advantages, Bibb said.
“HBO also has a content archive of TV material second to no one (some of which they licensed to Amazon earlier this year for hundreds of millions of dollars) and is at least six times more profitable than Netflix, with a comparable customer base (which is willing to pay nearly three times the Netflix $US7.99 subscription cost),” he said. “HBO owns its content. Netflix owns nothing and is merely a marketing/distribution pipeline.”
HBO might be the crown jewel, but a Time Warner acquisition would give Murdoch a rounded-out media empire: Combined, Fox and Time Warner would control more than 100,000 motion pictures and hundreds of thousands of television content.
It would also put control of networks like TNT and TBS, as well as Time Warner’s sports rights and networks, under Fox’s umbrella. Bibb said the potential merger would also likely provide at least $US1 billion to $US2 billion in annual savings by combining Warner Bros. film and television studios with 21st Century Fox’s.