HBO Makes a Billion Dollars a Year

BOARDWALK EMPIRE episode 24 (season 2, episode 12/season finale): David Aaron Baker, Steve Buscemi, Kevin O'Rourke, Anthony Laciura. Photo: Patrick Harbron/HBO

Showtime is gaining on HBO, says the New York Times: Showtime's subscriber numbers have gone from 13.8 million in 2005 to 21.3 million today, while HBO has stayed right around 29 million, and Homeland is much beloved. But HBO still has at least one major advantage in that it brings in "slightly more than $1 billion a year." A billion! Who knew that you could make a billion dollars on Entourage? That income accounts for a quarter of Time Warner's annual profits, while poor, puny Showtime brings in only $692 million, which is more or less chump change.