HBO Go bundle for broadband subscribers could happen, says CEO

By on March 22, 2013, 12:30 PM

HBO has produced some of the best shows to ever hit the small screen, from pop-culture masterpieces like The Sopranos to epic fantasy novel adaptations like Game of Thrones. Unfortunately the network doesn’t make its content available on services like iTunes or Hulu, so unless you spend $100 a month or more on a full cable service package with HBO’s channels, your only other legal option is to wait for the DVD or Blu-ray set.

It’s no wonder their series are among the most pirated online.

The company does make its programming available online through HBO Go, but with the exception of four Nordic markets, that’s only available to those who subscribe to the network though a traditional cable contract.

Could a wider rollout of HBO Go as a standalone, online-only service be in tow, however? We wouldn’t count on it for now, as the company has been clear it doesn’t want to upset their lucrative distribution deals with cable providers. But today the channel’s chief executive Richard Plepler offered a glimmer of hope for cable cutters.

Speaking to Reuters, Plepler suggested HBO Go could maybe evolve as an additional service offered by partner broadband providers. Customers could pay $50 a month for their Internet and an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with the service, he explained, adding that they “would have to make the math work.”

Exactly how serious the company is about making such a move is unclear, but you can be sure its cable partners aren't going to let this happen so easily. With billions of dollars at stake it will be a while before they work something out, but Plepler says that doesn’t mean HBO isn’t mindful that a content availability problem exists.




User Comments: 6

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

One step closer to having ala carte TV options. Can't happen soon enough for me. Drives me insane that I'm paying $130 a month for 700 channels and I only routinely watch 4.

mrcavooter mrcavooter said:

^ I'm with you. I wouldn't torrent if I could just pick channels that I wanted. I don't mind paying my own way, in fact I would prefer to do that. Unfortunately, I'm a starving college student and can't afford 7 versions of CSPAN, Lifetime, Women's Entertainment, the Spanish Soap Operas ad infinitum.

Cable needs to understand that the old business model is what is driving customers away. Make it easy for me to give you money, NOT easy for me to just say eFF it and torrent the content.

Timonius Timonius said:

"Customers could pay $50 a month for their Internet and an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with the service"

:facepalm: They still don't get it.

2 people like this |
Staff
Jos Jos said:

@Timonius At least it would be a step forward and I'm sure more than a few will gladly pay a ~$10 fee just for HBO's content. That said, ideally what I'd like to see is a single streaming service with access to content from all major networks, HBO included, with episodes released simultaneously or the day after they air on TV.

treetops treetops said:

All they have to do is add this to netflix for 10$ extra a month, hulu or even redbox. Or heck make their own netflix type program. But yeah they are trying to make a buck like everyone else and already have a sweet deal.

SCJake said:

@treetops

close, but not quite. I would think it most fair to all for one site/provider to buy bulk contracts to Netflix/hbo/hulu then sell all that content for... say... $20-$25/month? id gladly pay that if it had ALL of them rolled into one.

I'm all for a pay as you go model, but its the dark side of capitalism here guys. Its not their fault that theyre packaging all these stupid channels together, it's the general world populations fault. As long as the majority of people are willing to pay for it and not just say screw you then theyre going to do it!

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