Session: Keynote Interview
Richard Plepler is Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., responsible for the overall management of the world’s most successful pay TV service, which provides the two television networks – HBO and Cinemax – to over 131 million subscribers in over 60 countries and its programming into over 180 territories. He was named to this position in January 2013.
Renowned worldwide, the HBO and Cinemax services offer the most popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, streaming services HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels.
In March 2015, as a special guest at an Apple event, Plepler announced from stage the industry-breaking HBO NOW® – the network’s highly anticipated standalone premium streaming service. HBO NOW® launched the following month and began providing audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO has streaming services in the Nordic region, several countries in Latin America and plans to launch in Spain by year end.
Under his leadership, HBO’s original productions continue to raise the bar with some of the most innovative, honored and critically respected programming on television. This was recognized with a record 43 Primetime Emmys in 2015, the most of any network in 43 years. The series programming has also set numerous records for the network -- True Detective, which debuted in early 2014, became the most-watched freshman series in HBO’s history. Now in its sixth season, Game of Thrones is a global juggernaut, watched by over 20 million viewers per episode in the U.S. alone and stands as HBO’s most popular series ever. The debut of Ballers in 2015 was the most watched comedy in over six years with more than 9 million viewers.
As co-president from 2007 to 2012, Plepler greenlit some of HBO’s most a successful series including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom and Game of Thrones, as well as Emmy® Award-winners Girls and Veep. Additional award-winning programs include the miniseries Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet, and The Pacific; HBO Films’ Behind the Candelabra, Too Big to Fail and Game Change. Plepler also shepherded Cinemax’s first foray into primetime originals with the popular action series Strike Back.
Plepler serves on the Board of Directors for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees for the Museum of the Moving Image, the Asia Society and the New York Public Library. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Plepler has received numerous accolades over his career: inducted into Broadcasting and Cable magazine’s Hall of Fame; named Media Person of the Year by The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; the Directorate Emmy Award for his impact on the industry from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and the prestigious Drive of Change award at the FT ArcelorMittel Boldness in Business Awards.
Plepler resides in Connecticut with his wife Lisa and daughter Eden.