As graduation looms ever closer, I have been searching through various networks, production companies, and cable providers in an attempt to remedy my currently unemployed status. HBO has most definitely been one such network. Over the years, I’ve known high school acquaintances who have gone on to intern at HBO and enjoyed the experience immensely (as noted by never ending Facebook updates and tweets). Even looking further into employee reviews of working a HBO, the company seems to be a fun and creative work place with a level of prestige in the entertainment world.
As of 2011, Business Insider ranked HBO as the seventh best media company to work for citing that “HBO presents new and exciting challenges for its employees to complete.” More recently, HBO received the seventh place honor for The Most Innovative Company of 2015, according to Fast Company. One of the reasons they have received such recognition is their current project titled HBO NOW, which allows consumers to pay to stream HBO content without having a traditional cable package. The move to reach the enlarging streaming consumer base, makes HBO one of the first television companies to keep up with the digital Jones’s, Netflix and Amazon.
However, the success of HBO NOW has led HBO to a partnership with Apple, a company with questionable production methods as previously discussed in other blog postings and an excerpt of Fran Hawthorne‘s Ethical Chic. Are HBO and its mother company Time Warner Inc. putting themselves at risk by aligning with Apple for their new service?
HBO NOW itself places Time Warner in a potentially dangerous situation as the service might lead some dissatisfied customer to drop their cable subscription, and without knowing how many customers will make that decision, Time Warner will have a difficult time knowing how its other cable networks will be affected.
Most of the public issues with HBO have been a result of the content the network provides. The Columbia Journal Review discusses the negative backlash the network received after the series finale of The Sopranos. Additionally, there have been numerous controversies over the content of HBO’s programming, including issues with the role of women and rape in Game of Thrones and drug use and sex scenes in Girls. How much is HBO held responsible for broadcasting controversial content? Does it matter, considering that it is a paid service and no one is making a consumer watch content they find distasteful?
Feature Image: Still from Despicable Me 2. Found at https://legendoflaura.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/puppy-minions-shocked.png