Plepler Near Deal With Apple to Start Production Company

Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler is getting into the streaming wars, producing shows for Apple and its new Apple TV+ streaming service.

Plepler, who left HBO after its parent company Time Warner was acquired by AT&T, is reportedly near a deal to create a new production company that would be based at Apple.

Apple had no comment, but a source familiar with the situation confirmed press reports about the arrangement.

According to Deadline, Plepler is launching his production company with financial backers and after talking with several potential partners, he settled on an exclusive deal at Apple.

Apple launched Apple TV + on Nov. 1 with a handful of original series.

Programming for Apple TV+ is being headed by former Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. They appear to be looking for more of the high-quality programming that HBO produced when Plepler was in charge, such as Game of Thrones.

AT&T is relying on HBO to be the backbone of HBO Max, the subscription streaming service it will launch in May. It will have all of HBO’s content and cost about the same as HBO currently costs pay-TV subscribers. But it will also have content from other AT&T units, including new original programming, material from cable channels like TNT and CNN and movies and TV shows from Warner Bros.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.