Can HBO remain HBO under AT&T’s control?

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HBO head Richard Plepler has long prided himself on the network’s so-called “bespoke” approach to developing and producing a small number of high-quality shows with A-list talent. During a town hall meeting last week with former AT&T executive turned new Warner Media head John Stankey, it was clear that approach won’t fly under his care. Stankey said the next year of growth and change will be painful like “childbirth,” but he believes it will benefit HBO in the long run, increasing its subscriber base and creating many more hours of content. While HBO welcomed Stankey’s promise of a greater investment in the network, will the quality of HBO shows diminish by upping the quantity in an attempt to compete with Netflix? Or will an influx of cash help HBO snag programming it may have otherwise lost out on to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu? And do this week's Emmy nominations even matter in the age of the HBO-Netflix rivalry?