15 Facts About HBO

1. In 2005, HBO entered into an agreement with Cingular Wireless to establish HBO Mobile, a pre-smartphone era mobile web service.

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2. In 1987, HBO launched the premium channel Festival, a separate service that was distinctively programmed to provide family-friendly fare, which featured classic and recent hit movies, as well as HBO's original specials and documentaries.

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3. In 1977, HBO premiered the channel's longest-running program, and its first sports-related documentary and analysis series Inside the NFL, featuring game reviews of National Football League games from the previous week of the league season as well as interviews with players, coaches and team management; HBO canceled the program in February 2008 after 30 seasons.

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4. Since 2008, HBO holds exclusive pay cable rights to its own in-house theatrical films made through HBO Films.

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5. On January 3, 2011, HBO became the first premium channel and the first cable network to offer a 3D-only VOD service as it launched a subscription video on demand service offering feature films in 3D to Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Verizon FiOS customers who subscribe to the HBO service.

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6. In 2001, HBO debuted Six Feet Under and in 2002 The Wire, which, although not surpassing The Sopranos in viewership success, matched its critical acclaim and further cemented HBO's reputation as a network that produced quality programming.

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7. In January 1986, HBO became the first satellite-delivered television network to encrypt its signal from unauthorized viewing by way of the Videocipher II system; this initially resulted in a mass lodge of complaints from television receive-only satellite users that previously received HBO's programming without a subscription.

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8. In 1989, HBO created The Comedy Channel, a basic cable channel that featured clips excerpted from stand-up comedy sets, comedic feature films and television series, which launched on November 15 of that year.

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9. The number of HBO Now subscribers reached over 2 million by February 2017.

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10. On October 15, 2014, HBO announced plans to launch an over-the-top subscription video on demand service in 2015, which would be distributed as a standalone offering that does not require an existing television subscription to use.

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11. On September 27, 2018, HBO announced that it would discontinue its telecasts of boxing after 45 years, citing diminishing ratings, increased competition, and its shift in programming direction.

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12. In 1999, HBO became the first US cable channel to operate a high-definition simulcast feed.

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13. In 1993, HBO became the world's first digitally transmitted television service.

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14. In 1989, HBO compared its programming against rival pay television network Showtime, with the slogan "Simply the Best", using the Tina Turner single "The Best" as part of the network's on-air image campaign.

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15. In 1983, HBO premiered its first original movie, The Terry Fox Story, a biographical film about the Canadian runner who embarked on a cross-country run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research; the film was the first movie ever produced for pay television.

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