Home Box Office Creates Megabrand Multiplex Packages for The Future

April 6, 1998

HBO and Cinemax to Offer Ten Branded Channels for Evolving TV Environment

Home Box Office is launching the next stage in the development of premium television with the introduction of two megabrand multiplex packages. Designed to better serve changing viewing habits in the evolving TV environment, the packages will give viewers clearly defined viewing options by providing ten HBO and Cinemax branded channels, each with a distinct on-air and programming identity. These new channels will satisfy the diverse interests of all segments of the networks' expanding viewership.

The HBO megabrand, to be known as HBO The Works, will consist of six branded channels that appeal to a range of TV viewers. Launching in the fourth quarter of this year, HBO The Works will include HBO, HBO Plus, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Comedy and HBO Zone. Programming specifically created and acquired for the individual channels will be added as early as next year. The Cinemax megabrand, MultiMAX, will be made up of four branded movie channels that provide for varying tastes among all kinds of film fans. Launching June 1, MultiMAX will consist of Cinemax, MoreMAX, ActionMAX and ThrillerMAX. Together, the ten channels of HBO The Works and MultiMAX will provide better defined choice, more convenience and greater value at no extra cost.

"The way people watch television is changing and to stay ahead of the curve we're taking our multiplex services to the next level," said Jeff Bewkes, chairman and CEO of Home Box Office. "With so many networks offering different kinds of programming, viewers want TV destinations that they know and can count on. HBO The Works and MultiMAX will give consumers easier access to our wide variety of programs."

By satisfying viewer needs, HBO The Works and MultiMAX are designed to help affiliates increase pay subscriptions and expand their businesses. "HBO and Cinemax are the top two networks in pay TV. We're building on the strengths of those brands to create even stronger products for the future," said John Billock, president, U.S. Network Group at Home Box Office. "The ten channels of HBO The Works and MultiMAX will boost viewership and satisfaction among all segments of the TV audience while helping affiliates improve acquisition and retention rates."

Multiplexing has been a proven strategy for growth since it was first developed and introduced by Home Box Office in 1991, especially in those systems that offer a full complement of HBO and Cinemax multiplex channels. Internal research shows that subscriber satisfaction and subscription growth increase in proportion to the number of channels offered. Today nearly 70% of HBO subscribers and almost 60% of Cinemax subscribers receive some configuration of multichannel service.

The new channels will be available to all HBO and Cinemax distributors and will be transmitted in digital format.

HBO THE WORKS

By the end of 1998, HBO will become six different yet complementary channels that, presented together, will be known as the megabrand HBO The Works, providing subscribers with even more access to the kinds of programs they want to see. Each channel will have its own distinct on-air and programming identity and will appeal to targeted segments of the network's broader audience. Original programming specifically created to match individual channel profiles will launch as early as next year. HBO The Works will give subscribers even greater value, since all six channels will be available for the price of one.

  • HBO -- The number one premium network will still be the place for the best programming on TV, including a guaranteed new movie every Saturday night, groundbreaking originals such as From the Earth to the Moon(tm), exclusive big events, and championship boxing.
    Feeds: East, West, Mountain.
  • HBO Plus -- HBO Plus provides viewers with a perfectly counterprogrammed choice to what's on HBO. Scheduled for the broadest appeal, the channel doubles the entertainment options at any given time. HBO Plus replaces HBO2.
    Feeds: East, West, Mountain.
  • HBO Signature -- HBO Signature will be programmed for the discriminating light television viewer who desires a sophisticated and thought-provoking selection of programming. The channel will showcase HBO's critically-acclaimed and award-winning original movies, series and documentaries as well as notable theatrical films. HBO Signature replaces HBO3.
    Feeds: East, West.
  • HBO Family -- Beginning early next year, HBO Family will be adding original daytime programming for kids that is guaranteed to make learning fun. These new shows will provide an enriching alternative to commercially-driven programming found on ad-supported networks. In addition, HBO Family will continue to be the premium channel that provides commercial-free Hollywood movies the entire family can enjoy together, with never an R rating.
    Feeds: East, West
  • HBO Comedy -- This new broad appeal channel will leverage HBO's position as the best source for non-stop comedy entertainment. From the sublime to the outrageous, HBO Comedy will be the 24-hour place to catch the biggest established stars and the most promising new comedy talent in an uncensored environment. With its mix of HBO's popular original comedy series, stand-up specials and events, as well as the funniest of theatrical movies, HBO Comedy is sure to keep viewers laughing.
    Feeds: East, West.
  • HBO Zone -- Appealing to today's younger generation, HBO Zone will be fresh, contemporary and ethnically diverse. It will be the only pay channel built to reflect a Gen X sensibility, focusing on programming that includes HBO's hard-hitting series, edgy original movies, music specials and late night boxing, plus Hollywood and independent films attuned to a grittier reality.
    Feeds: East, West.

MULTIMAX

As of June 1, Cinemax will become four complementary yet unique movie channels collectively known as MultiMAX, each with its own on-air personality, movie mix and special premieres. Featuring the most extensive film inventory in pay TV, MultiMAX will give all kinds of movie fans more of what they want -- greater choice at any given time. From current blockbusters and top-end action and suspense films to modern classics and quality art-house films, MultiMAX will satisfy every movie taste.

  • Cinemax -- The number two pay network will continue to be the best place for movies on TV. With a look and attitude that caters to film fans, the channel will still give viewers a wide variety of movies from its vast inventory and will still offer two prime-time movie starts with a guarantee of a different movie 365 nights a year at 8 PM.
    Feeds: East, West, Mountain.
  • MoreMAX -- True to its name, MoreMAX brings more popular but hard-to-find movies to TV from its vast library. Doubling the choices found on Cinemax, this channel will feature a 9 PM prime-time anchor, daily classics and special premieres of foreign and independent films. MoreMAX replaces Cinemax2.
    Feeds: East, West, Mountain.
  • ActionMAX -- A permanent home for television's largest and best inventory of action films, ActionMAX will show a wide range of movies for all types of action fans, from broad-appeal blockbusters to westerns, war movies and rarely available martial arts films, to name a few.
    Feeds: East, West.
  • ThrillerMAX -- Presenting some of the most popular movie categories to target a variety of film fans, ThrillerMAX will keep viewers on the edge of their seats with a mix of mystery, suspense, thriller and horror films from both Hollywood and independent studios.
    Feeds: East, West.

Home Box Office is the premium television programming division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach more than 33 million subscribers in the United States via a variety of distribution modes including cable, C-band satellite, direct broadcast satellite (DBS), microwave (MMDS) and in the lodging industry. Home Box Office's international ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 40 countries around the globe.

Other major lines of business include Time Warner Sports; HBO Home Video; HBO Direct, Inc.; HBO International; and two television production companies, HBO Downtown Productions and HBO Independent Productions. HBO also has interests in multimedia entertainment companies.

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