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Liberty Media's Malone: 'I Don't See The Growth For HBO' In Streaming

Dave Royse

The number of streaming services will likely stop growing, and distributors that include legacy cable companies will probably become bundlers of services, John Malone, chairman of Liberty Braves Group's (NASDAQ: BATRK) Liberty Media, said Thursday.

Malone Has Bearish Projection For HBO

Speaking to CNBC at Liberty Media’s investor day, Malone said the exploding number of streaming services will have to “thin out as some make it and some don’t.”

Some of the players are "going to look at the numbers and they’re going to say, ‘we no longer have the belief that Hail Mary passes are going to keep working,'" Malone said of the increasing number of streaming services making content available to consumers.

For some, there just won’t be enough of a new audience, and Malone suggested one of those cases could be AT&T Inc.'s (NYSE: T) HBO, even as it prepares to launch its new HBO Max service.

“In the U.S., if you wanted HBO, you already have HBO,” Malone said. “I don’t see that they gain a lot of new customers ... I don’t see the growth for HBO. And in fact you could see attrition.”

Cord-Cutting

Cord-cutting will eventually level off, although it may not stop completely, and incumbent distribution companies like the cable systems will find a role in the evolving media landscape, the Liberty Media chairman said. 

“These distributors will start becoming where you go for a bundle of other services,” he said, noting that Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is already distributed by many cable operators.

Related Links: 

HBO To The Max: Analysts Await Critical Pricing Info On New Subscription Streaming Service

Streaming Services Add Up: What Happened To Cord-Cutting To Save On Cable?

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