An Investor Always Pays His Debts
Game of Thrones is owned by HBO, which is owned by TimeWarner Media, which is owned by AT&T! For investors, that labyrinth of corporate complexion is worth enduring.
As one of this era’s seminal TV franchises, the Land of Ice and Fire has hosted 32 million pairs of eyeballs, hauled in $88 million per episode, and driven countless subscriptions to the HBO network.
Now, the network wants to double its advantage. ‘House of the Dragon’ will be a 10-episode Game of Thrones spin-off, taking place 300 years before the George R.R. Martin’s story we’ve already been told. In truth, it doesn’t matter which arch of fiction the studio follows this time. Wall Street is onside! Hosted on a “must-have” channel like HBO, the spin-off would be a worthwhile piece of content even if it were half as successful as Game of Thrones.
The goal of HBO as a channel is to get viewers watching its innovative in-house shows, laden with product placement from the likes of Apple and Fiat Chrysler. That business model is HBO’s lifeblood, but I don’t remember Daenerys cruising Essos in a jeep or Jon Snow getting war updates on his iPhone. While HBO still turns an almighty profit, some revenue streams can be hit and miss!
When AT&T brainstormed its next big move last year, shareholders took a double-take at the company’s $85 billion decision to buy TimeWarner. Everything has a price, but some think that one was too steep at the time! The road to breaking even still extends further than most investors’ time-frames, but great franchises like this one should take care of the numbers long-term! Grab the popcorn!