HBO is planning to launch its standalone streaming service in April next year, according to a Fortune report. The launch is expected to coincide with the premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones, the company's most-watched show ever, with an average audience of 18.4 million viewers per episode.
The news comes a couple of months after HBO announced its plans to launch a "standalone, over-the-top" offering that will allow people to watch its programming over the web without having to pay for a cable or satellite subscription. At that time, the company didn't provide details on when the service would arrive, except that it was coming in 2015.
"Our top priority: Fully support the work needed to enable the external solution for April," reads an internal memo written by the company's senior vice president of technology program management Mark Thomas and the company's senior vice president of digital products Drew Angeloff.
The report also notes that HBO has entered into an agreement with MLB Advanced to develop the new service. The company's decision to outsource the work comes in the wake of this year's HBO Go outages during episodes of Game of Thrones and True Detective, for which the former CTO Otto Berkes (who resigned yesterday) is believed to be responsible. Per the report, Berkes knew about a memory leak for nine months but decided to treat it as a non-issue. That particular leak resulted in the outages.