Sunil Gupta, Henry McGee, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Margaret Rodriguez
Strategy & Execution
In March 2015, the U.S. television industry received a major wake-up call. HBO, a premium cable channel with over 30 million subscribers, had announced it would begin offering a standalone streaming service. This new service would allow customers to bypass the cable companies and get direct access to HBO’s programming online. The announcement was followed closely by Brian Roberts, chief executive of the Comcast Corporation. Comcast was America’s largest cable and internet service provider, having built a profitable business bundling television content and delivering it via cable networks to more than 20 million households. Broadcast and cable television was a $173 billion industry in the U.S., but the rise of on-demand and streaming services meant viewers had more options than ever before. What did developments such as HBO’s new service mean for the future of Comcast, and for the industry overall?