That year also saw the premiere of the first children's program to be distributed on the channel: Fraggle Rock (that series' creator, Jim Henson, had earlier produced the special Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, which won an ACE Award in 1978).

HBO continued to air various original programs aimed at children until 2001, when these programs almost completely moved over to HBO Family (which continued to occasionally distribute its own slate of original children's programming until 2003).

Because of the cost of HBO (which is the most expensive of the U. premium services, costing a monthly fee as of 2015 between and depending on the provider), many Americans only view HBO programs through DVDs or in basic cable or broadcast syndication – months or even years after these programs have first aired on the network – and with editing for both content and to allow advertising, although several series have filmed alternate "clean" scenes intended for syndication runs.

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The first program and movie distributed on the channel, the 1971 film Sometimes a Great Notion, starring Paul Newman and Henry Fonda, was transmitted that evening to 325 Service Electric subscribers in Wilkes-Barre (a plaque commemorating this event is located at Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre).

Home Box Office distributed its first sports event immediately after the film: an NHL hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks from Madison Square Garden.

HBO is the oldest and longest continuously operating pay television service (basic or premium) in the United States, having been in operation since November 8, 1972.

In 2016, HBO had an adjusted operating income of US$1.93 billion, compared to the US$1.88 billion it accrued in 2015.

Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Time Warner through its respective flagship company Home Box Office, Inc.

Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with made-for-cable movies and documentaries, boxing matches, and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials.

The network provides seven 24-hour multiplex channels, including HBO Comedy, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, and HBO Family.

It launched the streaming service HBO Now in April 2015 and has over 2 million subscribers in the United States as of February 2017.

Cable providers can require the use of a converter box – usually digital – in order to receive HBO.

HBO also provides its content through digital media; the channel maintains HBO Go, a video on demand streaming service available as a website and slate of mobile apps exclusively to existing subscribers of the linear channel suite and a separate, but similar standalone service, HBO Now, which launched in April 2015 as a subscription streaming platform that does not require a subscription to the HBO television service.

To gauge whether consumers would be interested in subscribing to a pay television service, Time-Life sent out a direct-mail research brochure to residents in six U. Time-Life later conducted a test in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in which salesmen presented the concept of a pay cable channel to residents by offering free service for the first month and a refundable installation fee; half of residents surveyed in the test expressed interest in purchasing the conceptual service.ffice," although the name was originally intended as a working title in order to meet deadlines to publish research brochures for the new service, with the belief that management would come up with a different name later.