- Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler is in advanced talks to sign an exclusive production deal with Apple TV+, CNBC has learned.
- Should a deal materialize, Plepler's new company, RLP & Co., would create original content for Apple's streaming service, The Wall Street Journal first reported on Tuesday.
- The discussions underscore the increasing competition among streaming services for production talent as the landscape becomes more crowded.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Tuesday that Plepler's company, RLP & Co., is in discussions with Apple about an exclusive production deal. Apple TV+ launched two weeks ago, joining an increasingly competitive streaming market that now also includes Disney+.
Plepler was at HBO for nearly three decades and led the company as CEO since 2012. Under his leadership, HBO became one of the market leaders in streaming video with HBO Go and HBO Now. He resigned in February amid restructuring under new parent company AT&T and speculation that he would have less autonomy. Soon after, he started RLP.
His talks with Apple underscore the race for production talent among streaming players as the landscape becomes more crowded. Plepler is being courted by Apple TV+ heads Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who are hoping he can bolster the unit's lineup of high-quality content, CNBC has learned.
Celebrities including filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg and actress Jennifer Aniston are already involved with Apple TV+. But with just nine new programs at its debut, Apple TV+'s selection is far more limited than its competitors.
— CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.