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Shots fired! HBO boss disses Netflix as 'the Walmart' of streaming services

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Sep 12, 2018, 1:04 PM EDT

An unofficial war between the online streaming services has begun and the first shot was fired by Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, which owns HBO

While speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia, Stephenson reportedly compared Netflix to Walmart, writes CNBC

“HBO is a very very unique asset," he allegedly said. "I think of Netflix kind of as the Walmart of [subscription video-on-demand services]. HBO is kind of the Tiffany.”

Those are some fighting words and while Walmart actually makes a whole lot more money than Tiffany, EW was quick to point out that Stephenson was referring more to brand perception. HBO wants to think of itself as a fancier, more distinguished content creator, whereas Netflix takes on anyone and everyone like a wholesale megamart.  

Yes, some of Netflix's movies need some work, but their shows, especially the genre ones (Stranger Things and all the Marvel fare, for instance) can certainly be counted in the same league as Game of Thrones and Westworld. The company built itself up on original series (just like HBO) and that's where it continues to excel.

Stephenson's point was that HBO will continue to only choose the best of the best for its programming, even though it could easily fill up its scheduling slate with tons of new material. 

“You’d like to fill out the schedule” on HBO, he said, reports Deadline. “But we’re not talking about Netflix-scale investments.”

What do you think of the CEO's comments?