The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

HBO losing viewer confidence

HBO losing viewer confidence

HBO-RIP-finalHBO has successfully created some of the most engrossing series on television, but to the utter dismay of millions of viewers, many of these shows have been cancelled abruptly, leaving story lines incomplete.

The undisputed leader of premium channels plans to air the final season of The Sopranos beginning April 9, and the sinfully addictive hit Rome will reach its conclusion March 25.

Recent years have seen the demise of many of the staples of HBO viewing.

Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, Oz, Carnivale and Deadwood have all been cancelled. For many viewers, Rome filled the void left by losing their favorite show, but HBO has said the show is too expensive to sustain.

The production costs for the first season topped $100 million; $100 million is like a drop in the bucket for HBO.

During one three-month period in 2005, the company posted a profit of $1.46 billion.

It is difficult to imagine what the channel could possibly have to offer in the future that would make it worthy of the additional expense to the viewer. The average cost for subscription is around $150 annually.

Entourage and Extras, while at times entertaining, hardly inspire the fierce loyalty of viewers who have brought HBO its record-breaking success.

The movie selections on HBO channels are poor when compared with Showtime or Cinemax. It is the original programming that has truly captivated audiences.

One would presume that HBO’s intention is to create new series, but company executives may find that viewers are unwilling to invest time and emotional energy into programs that may be cancelled the next year.

Googling the cancelled shows brings up countless forums and petitions created in an effort to “save the show.”

On the Save Deadwood Web site, one can simultaneously rant, rave, sign a petition and cancel HBO.

But despite thousands of signatures and heartfelt pleas from loyal fans of many of these shows, HBO has never flinched.

HBO may believe the fan base of one particular show is an insignificant fraction of its business, but the unification of these fan bases could have a disastrous effect on the company’s bottom line.

Chris Albrecht, CEO, has cited poor ratings for the cancelled shows, but many point the finger directly at him.

Accusations abound surrounding the marketing of the shows. While Entourage ads are everywhere, some amazing shows such as Rome and Deadwood have received little advertising. It has not gone unnoticed that Albrecht’s daughter has a recurring role on Entourage.

It seems that HBO executives have underestimated the gravity of the situation. After The Sopranos has concluded later this year, many of the remaining subscribers have vowed to cancel their subscriptions.

HBO has become untrustworthy in the eyes of many viewers after this flagrant period of serial creation and cancellation.

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