HBO to offer standalone Internet subscriptions, no cable/satellite required, starting next year

“While continuing to seek subscribers from cable and satellite, HBO will start to sell its service separately via the Internet next year,” Brian Stelter reports for CNNMoney. “‘It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO,’ the network’s chief executive Richard Plepler said Wednesday. ‘So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top HBO service in the United States.'”

“It’s a monumental change for HBO, which is currently sold only through cable and satellite providers,” Stelter reports. “Selling HBO via the Internet is a second avenue for growth. ‘All in all, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO, and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them,’ Plepler said.”

“HBO declined to comment on any of the particulars of the Internet service, such as monthly price or launch date. There was immediate speculation that the Internet version of HBO might be differentiated in some way from the service that cable and satellite subscribers receive,” Stelter reports. “In the context of the Internet service, Plepler pointedly did not mention HBO GO, the network’s popular app for cable and satellite subscribers. But he said the network would work with its existing partners and “explore models with new partners… While Plepler’s comments were limited to the U.S., he said the market for a stand-alone version of HBO could be even bigger outside the U.S.”

Read more in the full article here.

54 Comments

    1. What do you use as an alternative, I’d be curious to know and are there shows you thoroughly enjoyed but that you had to give up when giving up cable?

      I may be planning a similar coup to the cable company!

      Thanks.

      1. I use good-old Rabbit Ears and the Internet. A lot of shows can be watched online, simply by going to the network’s website (abc.com, nbc.com), or downloading their app. Hulu is also a good option, and with Hulu Plus you get a lot more shows (for just $8/month). If you don’t mind waiting, Netflix is great too. They usually get seasons a year after they air.

        The biggest issue is live sports. The NFL isn’t typically an issue, because their games are on the broadcast networks and can thus be gotten over the air. Even MNF and TNF games on cable are simulcast over the air in the local market for the participating teams. If there’s a game you really want to watch, for which you are not in the local market, you’d have to go to a restaurant/bar/friend’s/family member’s house to watch.

        You just have to figure out the right mix of services for your needs. For me, I just stick to my rabbit ears and Netflix, plus whatever I can stream for free online.

        1. This is exactly what we have done. i have a TV antenna on the roof. I get 27 channels in beautiful native digital HD, not compressed and re-expanded HD. I use Apple TV and Amazon Prime, as well as Netflix. I get GoT and other high quality programs in iTunes. The big issue is live sports on ESPN. As for MNF, who cares about a game between Buffalo and Tennessee when you are a 49er/Seahawks fan? On those occasions when “my” team is on MNF I go have a pizza and a pitcher of beer and watch the game.

  1. This is good. I hope one day there will be a dedicated 24 Hr Ping Pong Channel soon. Even better a 24 hour Slow Mow HD Faucet Dripping Channel. The possibilities are endless!

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