Time Warner Probably Won't Offer HBO Go Separate From Cable Anytime Soon

By Kelly West 2013-05-01 15:47:25 discussion comments
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Why can't HBO Go be like Netflix, where customers subscribe to it without having to get a full cable package? At present, U.S. residents need a basic cable package in order to subscribe to HBO, which is how you get access to HBO Go. On content, HBO Go is similar to Netflix, in that it offers a bevy of movies and TV shows, which can be accessed online or through an HBO Go app. Of course, in the case of HBO Go, the TV series offered are all HBO series, but between past and current HBO shows, the premium cable channel has no shortage of those. HBO Go is a great feature. But from the sound of it, people won't have the option to sign up for the service without paying for cable with it anytime soon. Not through Time Warner, anyway.

Back in March, reports were saying HBO was considering teaming up with internet providers to offer HBO Go without a cable subscription, which likely gave people hope that they might be able to get access to HBO's excellent original programming without having to pay for a lot of cable they may not want or use. HBO Go is currently accessible to cable users who subscribe to HBO.

Time Warner Cable subscribers had to wait a bit longer than other service subscribers for access to HBO Go, but they finally got it. It's not surprising that many would wonder when they'll be able to access the service (legally) without having to shell out money for a basic cable package and HBO through cable. That option would be especially beneficial for people who do most of their TV watching on their portable devices. From what Deadline reports, TWC doesn't think it's to their benefit to offer HBO Go as a stand-alone streaming service. TWC's Jeff Bewkes said, "We have the rights to do it and we would do it if we thought it was in our economic best interest." But apparently the market isn't sufficiently big enough now.

Or they don't want people dropping their pricy cable plans because they'd be content just to have HBO Go (and Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and/or whatever other on demand streaming services they can get outside of their cable service.) While HBO may stand to benefit from their streaming service going solo, I can't see how cable companies would, unless enough people that didn't already subscribe to that particular cable service signed up for HBO Go to compensate for the people who might drop down to just HBO Go.

Deadline says HBO Go is available to people in Scandinavia without a pay TV subscription, so the option does exist. It just sounds like they aren't ready to offer it to U.S. subscribers just yet.
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