HBO (Home Box Office) is an American premium cable television network, owned by Time Warner, under the operating subsidiary Home Box Office Inc. As of January 2012, HBO's programming reaches 29 million subscribers in the United States, making it the second largest premium network in the United States (Encore's programming reaches 33.2 million subscribers as of March 2012). In addition to its U.S. subscriber base, HBO also broadcasts in at least 151 countries worldwide.
HBO's programming consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original series, along with made-for-cable movies and documentaries, boxing matches, and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials.
The HBO pay service consists of seven multiplex channels and a video on demand service (HBO On Demand). HBO also packages the Eastern and Pacific feeds of the main channel together, allowing viewers a second chance to watch the same movie/program three hours later/earlier — depending on their geographic location. However, some cable systems only offer the main channel (and in some cases, HBO2) in this manner. However, it does not allow most NC-17 rated films.
HBO: The flagship service; it airs popular feature films, first-run films, boxing events and sports specials, original movies, original series, comedy specials and documentaries; also typically debuts new movies on Saturday nights. The main HBO channel will only air R-rated films and TV-MA rated programming after 8 p.m. ET/PT, but does air PG-13 rated films during the daytime hours, and a minimal amount of TV-MA rated programming has aired during the daytime hours on weekends.
HBO2: Secondary channel, which features more movies, series, specials and original movies. HBO2 airs R-rated films during the day, unlike the main HBO channel. Launched in 1991, the channel was renamed HBO Plus in 1998, before reverting back to the HBO2 name in 2001. In Brazil and Latin America, a local version of HBO 2 repeats all the movies that original HBO channel plays, and HBO Plus functions as a separate channel.
HBO Comedy: Features less-serious films and series, as well as rebroadcasts of HBO original comedy series and specials; airs R-rated films during the day, but only broadcasts adult comedy specials at night.
HBO Family: Features movies and series aimed at a younger audience, as well as films for the whole family; airs series aimed at preschoolers during the morning hours; with specials and G, PG and PG-13 rated films starting at or after 12:30 p.m. ET/PT. Uniquely, it is one of only two HBO spin-offs with its own website, along with HBO Latino — all the others are integrated within the main HBO site. This channel will not show R or NC-17 rated films or TV-MA rated programming.
HBO Latino: A Spanish-language version of HBO for Spanish-speaking audiences, simulcasting much of the same programming seen on the main channel. This channel airs HBO productions, including original series dubbed in Spanish, as well as Hollywood blockbusters and Spanish-language films. Also airs boxing events, including the original boxing series Boxeo De Oro.
HBO Signature: Features high quality films, HBO original series and specials; the channel was originally known as "HBO 3" from its 1991 launch until 1998, when the format changed completely from the similarities to HBO and HBO2 to movies, shows and specials targeted at a female audience.
HBO Zone: This channel airs movies and HBO original programming aimed at the 18-35-year-old demographic. Also broadcasts adult-oriented programming at night, similar to those on Cinemax's Max After Dark block, the only HBO channel that does so.