|Type||Premium television network|
|Headquarters||New York, New York|
Spanish (HBO Latino; also as SAP option on all other channels)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the network's SDTV channel feeds)
|Owner||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|Parent||Home Box Office|
|Launched||November 8, 1972|
Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television programs as well as made-for-cable movies, documentaries, occasional comedy and concert specials, and periodic interstitial programs (consisting of short films and making-of documentaries).
HBO is the oldest and longest continuously operating subscription television service in the United States. HBO pioneered modern pay television upon its launch on November 8, 1972: it was the first television service to be directly transmitted and distributed to individual cable television systems, and was the conceptual blueprint for the "premium channel," pay television services sold to subscribers for an extra monthly fee that do not accept traditional advertising and present their programming without editing for objectionable material. It eventually became the first television channel in the world to begin transmitting via satellite—expanding the growing regional pay service, originally available to cable and multipoint distribution service (MDS) providers in the northern Mid-Atlantic and southern New England, into a national television network—in September 1975, and, alongside sister channel Cinemax, was among the first two American pay television services to offer complimentary multiplexed channels in August 1991.
The network operates seven 24-hour, linear multiplex channels as well as a traditional subscription video on demand platform (HBO On Demand) and its content is the centerpiece of HBO Max, an expanded streaming platform operated separately from but sharing management with Home Box Office, Inc., which also includes original programming produced exclusively for the service and content from other WarnerMedia properties. The HBO linear channels are not presently accessible on HBO Max, but continue to be available to existing subscribers of traditional and virtual pay television providers (including Hulu, which also sells its HBO add-on independently of the streaming service's live TV tier) and as live streams to legacy Roku customers through existing streaming partnerships with those companies.
The overall Home Box Office business unit—based at WarnerMedia's corporate headquarters inside 30 Hudson Yards in Manhattan's West Side district—is one of Warner Bros. Discovery's most profitable assets, generating operating income of nearly $2 billion each year as of 2017.