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HBO considers allowing HBO GO outside of cable packages

updated 10:56 am EDT, Fri March 22, 2013

Service might still be tied to Internet service

HBO may be relenting on its position towards allowing HBO outside of cable TV subscription packages, Reuters reports. CEO Richard Plepler says that the company is considering allowing access to HBO GO, its digital streaming option, via bundles with broadband Internet subscriptions. That would likely add about $10 to $15 to a person's Internet bill. "We would have to make the math work," says Plepler.

For many people the option would be preferable to the cable route, where adding HBO can push bills well over $100 a month, especially since -la-carte channel subscriptions aren't an option. Most ISP bills by contrast are closer to $30-60, on top of which HBO would be a relatively trivial expense. It would however be more expensive than services like Netflix, which starts at just $8 a month and provides access to much more than one channel's content.

HBO GO apps are available on a number of platforms, including iOS, Android, Roku, Samsung TVs, the Xbox 360, and the Kindle Fire. Allowing access without a cable subscription could potentially be risky for HBO, since the network's current distribution scheme generates billions of dollars, and neither HBO nor cable companies would want to risk undermining it. At the same time, shows like Game of Thrones are heavily pirated, since many people don't want to pay for expensive cable bundles, or increasingly, any cable at all.

by MacNN Staff



  1. boulder1259

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-01-02

    HBO better move soon...

    We cut the cord a couple years ago and haven't looked back. If HBO doesn't move soon, they'll be forgotten as more and more people drop cable and become used to an online world.

  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-14-06

    iTunes redux

    Songs were bundled with Albums on special distribution media and channel, that is, CDROM and Music Stores, eventually, Songs became unbundled and available on Digital Media, e.g., iTunes. Similar process is happening on Cable and TV, this will happen the question is will Media Companies be so protective and risk averse to not disrupt themselves. General history and current evidence shows Content Producers, Intermediaries, and Distribution channels are incapable of this and will be disrupted from the Outside. Music, Newspapers, Magazines, ... have or are happening, Cable, TV, and Movies are about to happen and the indicators that they are approaching the cliff will be subtle and easy to dismiss, but the cliff is there.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'd subscribe in a heartbeat!

    Considering I can only get this w/ the packages option via my cable company, which means getting addtl premium channels I may or may not want for $30-$40/month, I'd love to have this HBO-only option. When I had the package free for 3 months, I really only watched HBO and definitely loved the HBO-To-Go app on my iPad.

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