NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Now that Bill Simmons is at Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, the tagline "It's not TV. It's HBO" no longer applies.
The new tagline ought to read: "It's HBO and it's game over."
Simmons sent out a tweet with HBO's 1983 intro following the announcement:
Simmons is often credited with bringing the fan's perspective to sports writing, and remaking it for the Internet. Writing from Boston some 20 years ago as the self-proclaimed Sports Guy, Simmons changed the way readers looked at sports writers.
He infused jokes, gifs, YouTube clips into his column, told uproarious stories of trips to Las Vegas, of rubbing elbows with the famous and not-so-famous, and taking jabs at athletes accustomed to being treated like demi-gods. Simmons' writing came across as something anyone could do, but that was part of his charm -- very few can do that well.
The initial reaction so far on social media has been strong, with several noting they will subscribe to the service simply because of Simmons:
@BillSimmons yeah i'll tune in its not tv its HBO— amado guzman (@amadog2695) July 22, 2015
@BillSimmons It had to be HBO.....and I was going to cancel after True Detective was over!— Edgar V (@EJVChachis) July 22, 2015
@BillSimmons congrats, billy boy. can't say i blame ya. looking forward to subscribing now... argh— Chris Lotto (@ZonaLotto) July 22, 2015
@BillSimmons Congrats Bill! Guess I need to renew my HBO— hayden vu (@Gambyt3) July 22, 2015
Few in the media world have as much an impact as Simmons does, with his 4.4 million Twitter followers and the ability to up-end an industry, as he has done.
HBO has more than 100 million subscribers around the world who pay for content such as Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Silicon Valley and a host of other shows. Giving Simmons his own talk show to go along with Oliver will appeal to an audience starving and most importantly, willing to pay, for good content.
HBO sent out a press release detailing the move:
HBO will be Simmons' exclusive television home. The overall agreement, which begins in October, provides for a comprehensive partnership on a variety of platforms between the network and Simmons. Among the elements of the new deal will be a talk show set to premiere in 2016 that will air on the main HBO service, as well as the HBO digital platforms HBO Go and HBO Now. Topical and spontaneous, the show will feature stories and guests from across the sports and cultural landscapes.
Simmons will also have a production deal to produce content and assets for the network and its digital platforms, delivering video podcasts and features. In addition, Simmons will be consulting with HBO Sports, with closely with HBO Sports president on non-boxing related programming, including the development of shows and documentary films for the network.
With the recent launch of HBO Now, the company's over-the-top streaming service, it makes even more sense for Simmons to go to HBO. Not only will this expand his popularity, but HBO needs to keep adding fresh content which would attract those who don't have a cable bill and don't get HBO. Making Simmons a key component of its TV show lineup is all the more reason to subscribe and pay $14.99 a month.
I subscribe to HBO and I'm 100% certain I will not only keep my HBO subscription, but watch the channel even more than I already do simply because Simmons has a presence. It's that big a deal.
Judging by the reaction, it appears I'm not alone.