- HBO programming chief Casey Bloys had some criticism for the runaway spending of his network’s streaming rivals, Netflix and Amazon, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
- Bloys speculated that widespread, exorbitant TV spending could mean that the industry is “in a bubble.”
- He said that his rivals’ spending feels like “irrational exuberance,” in a reference to Alan Greenspan’s label for the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys had a degree of criticism for the big spending of his network’s streaming-based rivals, Netflix and Amazon, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
In a conversation centered on the million-dollar salaries HBO is paying stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon for a second season of its hit series “Big Little Lies,” Bloys also discussed the record-breaking, nine-figure contracts Netflix has given to successful showrunners Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes in the past year.
He said Netflix’s runaway spending was emblematic of the fact that, in today’s TV industry, “it’s just a reality that doing a show will cost more.”
THR’s Lacey Rose then asked, “At some point, there’s a ceiling, no?,” regarding spending in TV.
“A lot of people speculate about that. Are we in a bubble? Is there too much?” Bloys said. “It certainly does feel like, as Alan Greenspan called it [in reference to the dot-com bubble of the 1990s], irrational exuberance. But just like any market, nobody really knows when you’re at the top.”
When asked to comment specifically on the $1 billion that Amazon is expected to spend on a series adaption of “The Lord of the Rings,” Bloys deflected and instead spoke to HBO’s more selective strategy of “curating excellent content.”
“[HBO CEO Richard Plepler] and I talk about that, too, [and it’s,] ‘Eyes on your own paper,'” Bloys said. “And it’s true: we’ve got to stay focused on our goal, which is curating excellent content — not ignoring the outside world because you can’t but also trying not to get too distracted by Amazon has this money or Apple has that money. Money is obviously very nice but it doesn’t automatically mean quality. It’s very hard to curate content and it matters how you engage with talent and how you treat them. And it’s the game we’ve been playing for a long time. “