With about 28.5 million subscribers, HBO remains the leader in pay cable. Runner-up Showtime claims 18.2 million subscribers, while Starz has 17.3 million. Horse races aside, all three networks run original programs that have struck a chord with viewers.
HBO in particular had a banner year, with True Blood’s 3rd season finale drawing just under 5.5 million viewers. Meanwhile, Boadwalk Empire opened to strong numbers, not to mention a couple of Golden Globe awards—Best TV Drama and Best Actor in a TV Drama for Steve Buscemi.
2011 looks to be an even more exciting banner year for HBO with the fantasy series Game of Thrones, a Final season of Entourage, Kate Winslet’s Mildred Pierce, and yet another season of True Blood on the slate. Curb Your Enthusiasm and Boardwalk Empire are also expected to debut new seasons this year as well. Congratulations to everyone at HBO who makes these great shows possible! (AdWeek)