Worried that the finale of “Game of Thrones” might crash HBO Go just like the premiere did? An HBO exec didn't offer any promises but did have some reassuring words. For instance, the most recent ep of the series had more concurrent streams on HBO Go than the premiere did, and everything was fine, said Shelley Wright Brindle, evp, domestic network distribution. One of the problems is that when HBO Go was created it was initially for mobile, then PCs and later other devices. “The HBO platform was not built to sustain what we're experiencing today,” Brindle said. “We have an amazing team that's rebuilding HBO Go for the future… I won't promise that they have it all figured out, but they have made a lot of progress.” One problem is that TVE differs based on what rights networks have, creating no consistent message for consumers. “Is it really TV Everywhere? It's some TV, somewhere,” Brindle said. And it's not just inconsistency among programmers. Fox Networks pres, distribution Mike Biard cited some hesitancy to highlight TVE offerings because not every MVPD offers the service. “If you have significant chunks of the MVPD universe whose subscribers don't have access to it, you want to be careful how you broadcast it,” he said. The panel touched briefly on the high cost of programming for distributors. “I've been on both sides of the table,” said NBCU evp, content distribution Matt Bond, who formerly was Comcast's lead negotiator. “Programming costs to distributors obviously puts a lot of stress on their business model. One surprise for me, the exact same dynamic is happening to programmers with respect to programming costs.” Part of the expense is MVPDs' desire for those same TVE rights. “The expectation of the industry is that you're going to provide them with an expanded portfolio of rights… That's really expensive,” said Univision pres, content distribution & corporate business dev Tonia O'Connor. “At Univision, we've invested so we have 100% clearance across our networks. It's not cheap, but we believe it's the right thing to do so we can support distribution partners.”

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