HBO (Acronym for Home Box Office according to abbreviationfinder), is one of the most popular cable and satellite television channels in the United States. It is owned by Time Warner and its headquarters are in New York. Its programming is based on the premiere of films already shown in cinemas and on films and series of its own production. HBO broadcasts boxing matches under the name of HBO Boxing & BAD (Boxing After Dark: Boxing after darkness), as well as other sporting events. In December 2010, the channel had 28.6 million subscribers in the United States, making it the cable and satellite television network with the most subscribers in that country.
HBO was the first cable and satellite channel created as a non-terrestrial broadcast television channel. In 1965 Charles Francis Dolan won the franchise to build a cable system in Lower Manhattan, New York. The new system, named Sterling Manhattan Cable by Mr. Dolan, was the first urban underground cable system in the United States. Instead of running the cable from telephone poles, and using microwave antennas to receive the signal, Sterling laid underground cable under the streets of Manhattan, because the signal was blocked by the large number of tall buildings and skyscrapers.
On December 13, 1975, HBO became the first television channel to broadcast its signal via satellite, when it broadcast the “Thrilla in Manila” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. On December 28, 1981, HBO expanded its programming schedule to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cinemax was 24/7 from the day it was signed up and Showtime and The Movie Channel were 24 hours earlier. In January 1986, HBO also became the first satellite channel to encrypt (or scramble) its signal from unauthorized use with the Videocipher II system. Later, HBO was the first cable channel to launch the high-definition version of their channel.
HBO was originally part of Time Inc. When Time merged with Warner Communications in 1989, HBO became part of Time Warner, which serves as its parent company today. HBO has also built a reputation for offering very high-quality original programming. HBO is a subscription-only service and does not carry advertising or other traditional advertisements. Both of these factors ease the pressure on HBO to decrease controversial aspects or themes in its programming, allowing explicit themes, such as graphic violence, explicit sex, foul language and drug use.
HBO has international operations in Latin America, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan). It also has an early investment in New Zealand ‘s SKY Network Television through the HBO channel (now Sky Movies). HBO plans to launch international operations in strategic markets in Europe (France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Italy) and Japan.
HBO also has a couple of joint ventures, first with the formation of TriStar Pictures with Columbia Pictures and CBS. Columbia then purchased a two-thirds interest in the studio. Then HBO merged its The Comedy Channel with the cable channel HA! from Viacom to form Comedy Central. HBO also has a joint venture with Liberty Media and many of the major cable companies in the Movietime channel (currently E!). In 1997, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast bought control of E!. in 2003, Viacom bought half of Comedy Central Channel, which belonged to HBO, and merged it with its MTV Network unit. In 2005, HBO and New Line Cinema launched Picturehouse, an independent film distributor. HBO is the main sponsor of the US Comedy Arts Festival. Since 2012, HBO has signed with Universal, for which it will begin to shoot films for this company, which were previously broadcast on Moviecity Pack and, at the same time, it loses Dimension Films and Miramax Films.
Catchphrases used by HBO
- 1972-1978: “Different and First” (Different and first)
- 1978-1982: “Don’t Miss HBO”
- 1982-1983: “Start with Us on HBO” (Start with us on HBO)
- 1983-1985: “There’s No Place Like HBO”
- 1986-1988: “Let’s All Get Together”
- 1988-1989: “Watch Us Here on HBO”
- 1990-1992: “Simply The Best” (“Simply the best” at HBO Latin America – still employed at HBO Asia)
- 1992-1993: “We’re HBO” (“Somos HBO”) “Live the experience” on HBO Latin America
- 1993-1997: “We’re Out of Town Today” (“We’re out of town today”)
- 1997-1998: “It’s Not TV, It’s HBO” (It’s not TV, it’s HBO – Used from 2001 to 2005 in its old signal from Latin America HBO Olé)
- 1998-present: “Sunday is HBO” (Sunday is HBO) – For Sundays
- 2004-2006: “HBO, the place” on HBO Latin America
- 2006-present: “Go Beyond” on HBO Latin America
HBO operates seven multiplex channels, a High Definition channel and a movie-on-demand service (HBO On Demand).
- HBO: Original movies and original hit series.
- HBO2: Secondary channel, it presents more movies, successful series and original movies, as well as R-rated (pornographic) movies during the day, unlike HBO. It was previously known as HBO Plus.
- HBO Comedy: Sentimental movies and movies that make you laugh, as well as rebroadcasts of comedy series and HBO specials. They also show (R-rated) movies during the day but only air adult comedy specials at night.
- HBO Family: Movies and series that target a younger audience as well as movies for the whole family. They only broadcast G or PG rated movies during the day and ‘PG-13’ movies at night.
- HBO Latino: Spanish and Portuguese version of HBO, with headquarters in Brazil and Venezuela (for Spanish-speaking viewers). It broadcasts HBO productions including series in English dubbed into Spanish as well as Hollywood blockbusters and movies in Spanish. It also airs boxing and the original series Boxeo de oro.
- HBO Signature: Quality movies, HBO original series and specials prepared mainly for women who are the channel’s target audience. It was previously known as HBO 3.
- HBO Zone: Airs programming geared toward a younger audience, ages 18-35, as well as adult-oriented programming on nights.
- HBO The Works– HBO The Works is the counterpart to primary HBO, offering B and even C class cinema that has never been released in theaters, usually films that air at festivals, made by semi-professional and amateur directors. includes medium and low-quality independent productions, and low-budget indie series, is available only in standard definition, starting January 3 on cable operator Comcast and later on Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable. DirecTV does not have this channel on its grid because it is considered to be of minimal quality and acceptance by the general public.
All channels have a simultaneous transmission in High Definition.
HBO also bundles its main channel’s East Coast and Pacific Coast (in the US) broadcasts together, allowing viewers a second chance to see the same movies and shows about 3 hours later or earlier, depending on your geographic location.
In Latin America, HBO operates with seven subscription channels, one basic package channel, two high-definition channels and the HBO VOD service through the HBO-Max package.
- HBO: Similar in features to HBO in English, with original labels and series of the same cut, including Latin productions. It has 3 signals, 2 for Latin America in Spanish, HBO East and West (despite the name, the channels do not have the same deferred programming) and 1 for Brazil, in Portuguese, with different programming hours.
- HBO 2: Premium channel similar in features to HBO but with programming completely dubbed in Spanish. It began broadcasting in Brazil in 2008, then in Mexico in 2009, in 2010 in Central America and from March 1, 2012 throughout the continent. It has 2 east and west signals (the first with Mexico time exclusively for that country and the second with Argentina for all of Latin America). It differs from the signal of Argentina by the blue logo than that of the signal of Mexico, which is white.
- HBO Family: Premium channel that only broadcasts family-oriented programs, such as children’s and comedy films, as well as cartoons and series for teenagers. It has 2 signals (with Mexican time for all of Latin America and the other with Brazilian time and dubbed into Portuguese).
- HBO Plus: Premium channel with the previous name of HBO Olé 2 that differs from HBO in the regular broadcast of Hollywood movies, and in offering musical shows and professional boxing. It has 2 West and East signals (the first with Mexico time and the second with Argentina, with a difference of 3 hours with respect to the west signal). It is a multi-language channel, since it broadcasts its advertising and subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese and English at the same time.
- HBO Signature: Airs a select lineup of mostly HBO original content. The new channel will offer the series, miniseries, exclusive movies for TV and documentaries that have marked milestones in the industry, not only for their production values but also for the talent in front of and behind the cameras.
- Max: Replacement for Cinemax’s east feed, airs mostly independent films from small production companies and international cinema. It has 3 signals, 2 of them for Latin America: West and East (the first with the time of Mexico and the second with Argentina, with a difference of 3 hours with respect to the western signal) and 1 for Brazil with a different time.
HBO Max Prime.
- MaxPrime: Channel aimed at the male audience, with action movies, black humor and programs with sexual content. It has 2 West and East signals (the first with Mexico time and the second with Argentina, with a difference of 3 hours with respect to the west signal). It is a multi-language channel, since it broadcasts its advertising and subtitles in Spanish and Portuguese at the same time.
- Max HD (SD): Version of the Max HD channel, but in standard definition, with the same programming schedule. It is characterized by displaying all its content without censorship, premiere movies, adult programs and series with the best quality.
- Cinemax: Broadcasts content already shown by HBO, movies from the 90s and 2000s, already released on open TV, as well as original series. It is a basic channel in most pay television systems. As of June 2010, the channel lost its complementary signal with a delay of 3 hours (Cinemax Este, which was replaced by Max) and officially became a basic channel in the entire continent. It has 3 programming feeds to reach different markets: North (for Mexico and Central America), South (Colombia and the rest of the continent) and Brazil (in Portuguese)
- HBO HD: Broadcasts the same content as HBO, but in high definition.
- MAX HD: It transmits programming similar to Maxprime with action movies, exclusive series and spaces for adults in high definition.
- HBO On Demand: Broadcasts content already shown on HBO, available at any time without time restrictions or access in Spanish or in its original language with subtitles, this service is operational in select operators that have a digital cable and VOD service.
Sports programming on HBO
Within professional boxing, HBO has presented important fights from the careers of Julio César Chávez, Óscar de la Hoya, Félix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr., among others.
Similarly, HBO broadcasts matches of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament every year, and covers the National Football Association (NFL) with its temporary program (during sport bells) “Inside the NFL”, in addition to other sports and various documentaries..