Cord-cutters, rejoice! Time Warner Cable has dropped some hints that in the future it could shift from selling HBO Go, the streaming service that gives access to HBO's vast catalog of movies as well as new and old shows, through cable and satellite companies to a direct-to-consumer model.
"[It] is becoming more viable, more interesting", said TWC CEO Jeff Bewkes during a talk at a Goldman Sachs conference this week. “We’re seriously considering what is the best way to deal with online distribution".
That's clearly a change in stance, given that last year, at the same conference, Bewkes said the company's primary focus was to give HBO an inroad into the 70 million households that subscribe to pay TV but not HBO, not just the 5 million to 6 million that don’t have a pay TV service.
The direct-to-consumer model isn't new for HBO, as it's already offering its programming via subscription in Nordic countries including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Add to that the fact that rival Netflix has more paid US subscribers than HBO, the idea of selling standalone subscriptions to HBO Go would make a lot of sense.
In addition, on the question whether there are plans to spin off HBO into a separate company, Bewkes said he has no such intentions, adding that the company is instead focused on having its three core business units (HBO, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner Bros.) work together.