Who Needs TV? HBO Joins MTV's New Era Without 'Television'

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Who needs “TV?” HBO, just like MTV, has been quietly changing its marquee slogan to signal a new, multi-platform-focused era.

“We are evolving to ‘It’s HBO’ because it is not just about the television anymore,” HBO’s president of sales and marketing Eric Kessler told Broadcasting & Cable. “It’s the content.”

“It’s not TV. It’s HBO” served as the Time Warner pay channel’s tagline since 1996, ushering in a golden age for the network with The Sopranos and a slew of new media launches including HBO On Demand. Back then, Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s current chairman and CEO, asked Kessler to come up with a marketing campaign explaining how HBO was “different, better, worth paying for,” according to B&C.

HBO is gearing up to debut more new mobile products, quality content and it’s HBO Go online video site.

By dropping the antiquated “television,” HBO projects an image that seems to be leaving old business models behind. Or, at least they are willing to experiment.

Last week, after 25 years, MTV finally dropped “Music Television” from its logo. Clearly, the network is no longer the “television” channel of the early 90s, which aired actual music videos for most of the day. Their schedule is packed with reality TV programming. Beyond the boob tube, MTV is an entire brand of content online, in merchandise and in movies.

We’ll probably be seeing less and less of “TV” in slogans. Who needs “Must See TV” when it’s much more like “Must See Hulu” or “Must See YouTube?”

TV Land, an MTV Networks channel that mostly shows black & white classic shows, has the slogan: “Here for the TV generation.” How quaint.

If networks want to be a home for the new generation, they will likely have to be much more than a “television” network.

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