The HBO network, now part of AT&T Inc’s media-and-telecom empire, is often touted as one of Netflix Inc’s biggest foes. Both companies are vying for TV subscribers, and they’re frequent rivals in award competitions, including the Emmys. HBO plans to boost its programming budget in a bid to lure more viewers.
But according to Netflix, HBO is less of a threat than a video game: Fortnite.
“We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders Thursday. “There are thousands of competitors in this highly fragmented market vying to entertain consumers.”
AT&T plans to make HBO an anchor for a set of new streaming services, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has said. A trio of platforms is due to arrive later this year, with different prices and features. The question then is whether HBO will be as easy to downplay.