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Television The Internet

HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription 139

An anonymous reader writes By now, everyone not living in total isolation knows that HBO has announced plans to offer content streaming in 2015 with no TV subscription requirements. Many wonder what took HBO so long to make this transition. Some speculate that the growing unpopularity of ISP giants has shifted bargaining power in HBO's favor. Others say that it's purely maths; there are more cord-cutters and more people willing to shell out money for specific content, as evidenced by Netflix surpassing HBO in earnings this year "despite Netflix having a smaller customer base". Whatever the reason, all are expecting this development to induce "more content providers to make their shows more readily available online".
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HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription

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  • Bad news for ESPN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by craighansen ( 744648 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:04PM (#48155019) Journal

    This is bad news for ESPN, that gets several dollars out of every cable subscriber now.

    • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:12PM (#48155085)

      ESPN has plenty of people that are willing to give them much more than $7 a month for their content: There is an entire demographic that uses TV just to watch sports.
      The ones that are really in trouble are smaller channels that still have some real expenses. Think of someone like AMC, that justifies its existence due to a relatively small number of valuable content they finance themselves, while the rest is filler. Would people really subscribe to the channel if all they wanted as 20 hours of television a year?

      • Re:Bad news for ESPN (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheGavster ( 774657 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:17PM (#48155117) Homepage

        HBO's a-little-after-second-run movie lineup isn't why most people have it; it's the original programming. I think there's a big market for companies like HBO, AMC, etc to develop reputations based on a small number of high-quality shows. Online distribution makes it so they don't need to license a ton of filler, like AMC, or fill out a lineup with low-quality shows, like the big networks do.

        • My point was that HBO has A LOT more high quality original programming than AMC, that lately has a lot more misses than hits. They have good, expensive content, but not enough to warrant subscriptions IMO. And when they have good content, they have trouble paying for it. Look at all the cuts they had to do to Mad Men's run length, and the issues they had with actors and pay. That's the reason they cannot 'move up' to being a premier, pay by itself channel.

          In any given season, there are at least 3 new HBO sh

        • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday October 16, 2014 @03:36AM (#48157167)

          I have HBO because it's cheaper to have it with the comcast bundle than to not have it for the next 18 months. I would never ever pay for it.

          I have Netflix because it used to seriously rock and it still rocks.

          But all the companies are slicing and dicing the pool of shows and movies smaller and smaller and still want $10 to $15 each.

          A huge unlimited pool of movies at $12 was great.

          17 limited pools of movies and shows at $12 each is going to suck and not be worth it.

          • by torkus ( 1133985 )

            Agreed. They're all just getting greedy (well, finding different ways to satiate the greed I suppose) and the consumer loses out once again.

            Netflix was great...their streaming catalog had just about anything I wanted. Now it seems I miss more often than I hit when searching.

            The rest? No thanks. 15 bucks a month for this, 10 for that. Look at the NFL prices - $55/month for live out-of-market games on sunday or $70/month for non-live streaming. Are you kidding me? I mean...obviously there are people st

        • by u38cg ( 607297 )
          Bit once you're in that position, why wouldn't the programme maker simply sell the program directly? For example, the fifth season of Breaking Bad came pretty close to not getting made; if the channel had dropped it and the makers had simply distributed it online, I somehow suspect it wouldn't have done too badly.
          • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
            I could also see someone like Netflix stepping in, shows have changed distributors in the past. I think this is long overdue, even if it only provides HBO original programming it would be a great move.
    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      What's stopping ESPN from offering their entire HD channel package for $10/month via Amazon, HuluPlus or a bundle deal with HBOGo?

      • by praxis ( 19962 )

        I imagine they make a lot more than $10 per cable subscriber per month. If what I imagine is true, then they might not want their cable subscribers to leave the cable system and only pay them $10 via Amazon (less after Amazon's cut).

        • But they'd probably get a lot more subscribers. There's a lot of people cutting the cable, especially the younger generation. They don't care if you throw in ESPN, they aren't paying $80 a month for television,even if they really like to watch sports. If you make it $10 a month, you'd probably get a lot of college guys signing up. A house with 4 guys in it would probably split the cost of the subscription and it would cost almost nothing for them. And since they may want to watch the game together anyway,
          • by praxis ( 19962 )

            If they were increasing their subscriber numbers they'd make more money unless the new subscribers were only giving them a fraction of what they make. I imagine, with ESPN being pretty much the one thing keeping cable subscription fees so high, that they make a LOT more than $10 a month per household that has cable. I might be wrong, but I remember reading that ESPN is the backbone of cable subscriptions.

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        Many people can already get it for free on their internet package at WatchESPN.com. Others have to type in their cable logins, but I would pay $10 per month for ESPN for College Football season and then drop it afterward.
      • by Isca ( 550291 )
        Well, for one ESPN wouldn't make enough money. Purportedly a HBO cable subscriber pays 15 a month for HBO, but only around 9-10 goes to HBO.

        ESPN is getting an average of 8-10 dollars per cable subscriber. But it gets this from ALL of subscribers of "basic" cable.

        HBO has seen it's viewership shrinking because the cord cutters can find alternative means to get their HBO shows, and the ones who don't watch sports are the ones most likely to cut the cord. So it doesn't really hurt them much to switch pe
      • by alen ( 225700 )

        Disney/ABC owns them and only licenses them as part of a package where you pay for the entire disney/abc channel lineup

        HBO has always been a premium channel and so it wasn't that big a jump to a streaming only sub after testing with allowing people to pirate it

    • It's worse news for Major League Baseball teams - they've pretty much all gotten on the "cable television contracts are a cash cow" bandwagon over the past four or five years, and have been spending accordingly.

      Actually, let me amend that. The news is worst for the regional sports networks - they're the ones who've basically promised baseball teams billions and billions of dollars based on their (now shrinking) cable revenue.

      I don't feel sorry for them, though. The cable companies made this bed, gouging cus

      • by alen ( 225700 )

        if i can get a cable package paying $10 a month for YES, MSG and SNY channels i'll jump on it. most people only care about the regional sports networks and not ESPN/FOX Sports etc. only NBCSN would be a big hit since they have the Barclays Premier League

      • Their profits may shrink, but even with so many people "cutting the cord", they're not going bankrupt in your lifetime. They're printing money right now. There's a whole hell of a lot of distance between their current profit margins and bankruptcy.
      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        Woah, professional sports might go back to being about the game and the local community? What a disaster.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    IF they will give me episodes...
    1) On their TV release date.
    2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds
    3) In a usable non-DRM container which doesn't require a web browser
    4) Charge no more than $5 per episode (even that is steep).

    Then, HBO will get my five bucks. Otherwise they get zero. It's just that simple and I still suspect people fail at both math and psychology if they can't get this right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They will give you a usable DRM container on every major platform, dongle and OS. They will not remove DRM, because the studios they license films from demand it.

      But if you expect to watch content on BeOS you're shit out of luck.

      • BeOS? Wow.. I haven't heard a mention of that OS in over ten years, blast from the past.
        I would be game for this change: where HBO is concerned, I only care to watch Game of Thrones, and I don't see the point of paying for a full subscription for one show, because nothing else interests me, honestly (well, True Blood, but that's over now). But then I have to wait, and be a year behind everyone else in buying the BluRay when it's finally released.
      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        They will not remove DRM, because the studios they license films from demand it.

        So how's that mandatory DRM working out for them these days?

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:17PM (#48155113) Journal

      Just buy a Chromecast and deal with it. I stopped caring about DRMed video a long time ago. All I care about is that I can watch Netflix with my tablet as a remote control. If HBO works on Chromecast, I'll be the first guy in line to buy a subscription.

      • Does chromecast work on my television that only has VGA or Component? What about my raspberry pi driven LCD mounted next to my bed? They will never touch the lucrative market of Free Open Source Software users until they remove the DRM and start accepting DogeCoin without having to use a third party to accept said coins. I can live with giving them a throwaway email address, but some of us still value our privacy as well.

    • > 2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds

      I do not subscribe to cable, but wouldn't that be based on where you subscribe and your provider? Going with cable provider terms, one might offer the show in high-def while another may not.

      > 3) In a usable non-DRM container which doesn't require a web browser

      At this point, who gives a shit if it's DRM if it's easily playable via whatever mechanism you use. Currently, I use LocalCast app on android to play content via DLNA to my TV, or I use the
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:35PM (#48155223) Homepage

      IF they will give me episodes...
      1) On their TV release date.
      2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds
      3) In a usable non-DRM container which doesn't require a web browser
      4) Charge no more than $5 per episode (even that is steep).

      If it's anything like HBO Nordic:
      1) Within 24 hours, often <6 hours
      2) Less bandwidth than H.264 cable rips, no 5.1 sound but also not terrible
      3) When hell freezes over
      4) Here in Norway it's 79 NOK/month, subtracting VAT = $115/year for access to all HBO series

      I'm a subscriber but still prefer downloading due to 2), then again I think HBO Nordic is their own company that bought to rights from HBO centrally so whether or not any of this applies is uncertain. I think the delay is because they don't get access to the episode until it's aired in the US, for example.

      • Being up north, I'm hoping you'll give us advance warning when Hel freezes over.

        Wait a minute -- isn't Nordic Hel already frozen over?

      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

        #4 is really the show-stopper for me, with #2 being a close second.

        If I want to buy 1 series from HBO, I don't want to pay $120/yr for it. That is just WAY too much for a single show. Yes, I realize that I'm getting another 47 shows that I don't watch along with it - that doesn't really win me over...

    • by praxis ( 19962 )

      IF they will give me episodes...
      2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds

      That's not a very tall order, considering now much most cable companies compress their feeds. Since I switched to OTA my quality seems an order of magnitude better.

      • by hjf ( 703092 )

        I find this interesting. I'm in Argentina, and my cable HD is better than TV 720p rips. It looks just incredible.

        I guess maybe it's because we only get about 30 HD channels and the remaining 120 are SD.

    • IF they will give me episodes...
      1) On their TV release date.
      2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds
      3) In a usable non-DRM container which doesn't require a web browser
      4) Charge no more than $5 per episode (even that is steep).

      Then, HBO will get my five bucks. Otherwise they get zero. It's just that simple and I still suspect people fail at both math and psychology if they can't get this right.

      That would not be a very good deal. Comcast charges $10 per month to add HBO, and individual episodes of shows go for $3.99 in HD on Amazon.com & iTunes. Of course, those episodes are are from previous seasons, but $5 per episode makes the $10 you pay for Comcast a deal. I'm thinking they charge $10 a month as well.

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )
      In Denmark I could buy HBO online for 20 USD / month, episodes released as soon as they were in the US.. It's messed up to move to the US and then realize that HBO is unavailable and spotify has a significantly reduced catalog (luckily I can buy the Danish version with my Danish credit card).

      Oh, and don't tell me HBO is available along with a cable subscription... that requires me to pay for a lot of stuff I don't want, and interface with a provider that I never ever want to talk to...
      I would rather hav
    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      IF they will give me episodes...
      1) On their TV release date.
      2) Of quality at least as good as cable feeds
      3) In a usable non-DRM container which doesn't require a web browser
      4) Charge no more than $5 per episode (even that is steep).

      Then, HBO will get my five bucks. Otherwise they get zero. It's just that simple and I still suspect people fail at both math and psychology if they can't get this right.

      It won't be $5 a month. Places like UFC & WWE charge $10 a month. My guess is,that will be the norm. Though I wouldn't put it past HBO to go for $15 a month.

  • finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dasacc22 ( 1830082 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:06PM (#48155031)
    obligatory theoatmeal, http://theoatmeal.com/comics/g... [theoatmeal.com]

    A large portion of what I watch actually happens to come from HBO, but regardless I end up downloading the content like anything else. Classic example, I purchase a season of the Vikings from google play store in advance b/c I do not own cable but would like to watch the show legally (even a day late from when it aired). I get a notification that a new episode is available. I click play "Last week on Vik...." stream breaks. Hit replay, "Last wee...." stream breaks. Hit replay, "Last week on ..."stream breaks. Download episode via bittorrent in 3 1/2 minutes and enjoy.

    I'm happy to pay for content, but make that shit work.
  • Total Isolation? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:11PM (#48155065)

    By now, everyone not living in total isolation knows that HBO has announced plans to offer content streaming in 2015 with no TV subscription requirements.

    I like to think that I'm not in total isolation, I read online news (including Slashdot), occasionally check in to Facebook and Twitter, but I never heard this before.

    I heard that all the cool kids are on Snapchat now - I suppose that's where this news broke?

    • Re:Total Isolation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by preaction ( 1526109 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:17PM (#48155121)

      I, for one, love article summaries that condescend to me. It just wouldn't be Slashdot without condescension.

    • I read an interview with the head of HBO recently where he specifically said they were not doing this. But they were thinking about it.

      Is this actually corroborated somewhere?
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Same here. I just found out from /.

    • Re:Total Isolation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:56PM (#48155373) Homepage Journal

      This was just announced today; I guess the submitter assumes everyone is plastered to their many-tech-related RSS feeds and already read about it.

      Of course, "announced" is a lose term here. As far as I'm aware, all they've said is that they're going to offer a new streaming option. That's it. No price, nothing about what HBO content it will have (just the live feed? Can you watch individual episodes? Can you watch past series?). Just that it's coming.

      Considering that HBO is one of the main reasons a lot of people don't abandon cable, I wonder if the various cable companies are worried. I can just imagine them rounding up the lobbyists, telling them to throw money at whatever Congresscritter they have in their pocket to somehow make this illegal.

      Live sports are the other "main" reason, of course. If the likes of ESPN and the NFL make stand-alone streaming services (I believe they have the "requires cable subscription" offerings at the moment, like HBO already has) then it could be the death knell of cable subscriptions in our country.

      • If the likes of ESPN and the NFL make stand-alone streaming services (I believe they have the "requires cable subscription" offerings at the moment, like HBO already has) then it could be the death knell of cable subscriptions in our country

        Here ya go: https://gamerewind.nfl.com/nfl... [nfl.com]

        Every single NFL game this season. Downside is you can only watch a game after it ends, but in an era of DVRs that's pretty common anyway.

        • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

          Interesting, thanks for the link.

          I admit that I don't follow football myself, but--from what I recall of time with my family--watching live games was often a very social event and important amongst many fans. I'm sure that core fans will go back and re-watch old games, but in my limited experience I think that a stand-alone package that shows games live (even if that's all it shows) would be far, far more appealing.

          • I think they have it, but you have to be outside the US to take advantage of it.

          • by Isaac-Lew ( 623 )
            NFL Sunday Ticket from DirecTV is available on your phone or tablet without a subscription in the US, but only if you're ineligible for a satellite dish at your address. Also, it's $199.99 per season ($349.99 with Red Zone channel) and they blackout the local game (the workaround is to fake your location).
      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        I bet this will make cable TV prices go up even more. :(

        • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

          Considering that HBO is always an extra charge over regular cable (AFAIK), that the cable companies pay HBO to carry it (as opposed to some other channels, as I understand, like Shopping Network, that pay cable to carry it), and that this isn't the end of HBO on cable, I would be heavily surprised if it caused any change in cable prices.

          And if they do go up, good: just gives people more of a reason to abandon them.

    • by Thagg ( 9904 )

      HBO announced some time ago that some of their shows would be available without a cable subscription, but they would be delayed three years. Even that was enough to get the cable companies nickers in a twist.

      Today's announcement is a revolution, if that one was an evolution.

  • This service will truly be tested once the next season of Game of Thrones comes on HBO. If they stay true to same-day airing, I think this service will take off. After that, the hardest part will be getting the cheapskates and frugal users of the world to switch to this from the free price they've been paying until this point in time.
    • For me it's never really been about price. I've started using Google Play to rent movies and episodes of TV programs. I won't pay $18 for a brand new movie, so Google can get stuffed on that, but $4.99 isn't too bad.

    • by brunes69 ( 86786 )

      What may end up happening is HBO might actually start issuing DMCA takedowns en-masse now, whereas previously they basically said they were happy to turn a blind eye to the pirated content.

  • I like some of the prospects, and I cut my cord in favor of netfix (and ..other.. sources) long ago, but i do not want to pay HBO, ESPN, Showtime, netflix, Hulu and a dozen different providers either.
    • I think balkanization is the way it's going to go. It may suck in some respects, but if I end up paying $30 or $40 a month, but it's made up of programs I actually have to watch, as opposed to flipping through dozens of channels filled with duplication or crap I have no interest in, for double that price, then i'll be happy.

      And frankly, the studios should start getting worried. With Netflix producing and buying original programming, with HBO bringing its own suite to streaming, you can be sure players like

      • Actually I think there is one more logical step next. First we will see a Balkanization, but then I think we will see a Steamization. There will come a platform with better technology that will sell content from multiple sources. Initially the content providers will resist this but when an independent has enough content and they are missing out because their choice was 3rd on peoples list and so people refused to pay we will see a by episode / season purchasing option with someone else covering costs of t

      • Not sure the studios will care. They've always been reliant on a constantly changing group of distributors/networks/etc to commission and find ways to pay for their productions. On top of that, many are part of much bigger organizations that are perfectly capable of producing their own online equivalents to Netflix.

        And, you know, I think that's a good thing. The biggest problems with entertainment right now are the multiple layers of indirection that exist between "consumer" and producer, including the l

    • I imagine these companies will probably all think moving to "a la carte" offerings is an opportunity for them to increase their profits - but I doubt cord-cutters are willing to pay, say, ten bucks a month each to HBO, ESPN, Hulu, and so on.

      I wouldn't have HBO right now if it weren't rolled into my current lowest-tier cable TV subscription - and I wouldn't even have THAT if Comcast didn't make it pretty much as cheap as going internet-only (the difference is a few bucks a month). When I subscribed to a hig

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        I pay $85 a month for Dish and I also have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon for around $8 a month each. That's $24 already, but I find I watch the $24 more than the $85. I just have the $85 mostly for sports, and because my dad is too old to be a cord-cutter. Otherwise I would have cut the cord long ago.
    • I pay only Netflix. HBO releases their original series on DVD eventually which means I can get it from Netflix. I don't need to see episodes live.
  • Really this is what the merger was really about and having content abandon them couldn't be better.

    Netflix 8$/month streaming
    HBO $20/month tv + straming

    HBO Subscribers >> Netflix

    Who is actually profiting here ? The cable TV company

    Net neutrality and isp choice => their death and there couldn't be more deserving entities for capitalism's creative destruction

    • by praxis ( 19962 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @08:01PM (#48155405)

      HBO $20/month tv + straming

      In my market for me to subscribe to HBO it costs somewhere north of $130 a month, though they can't actually tell me how much before selling it to me. Of course, I would get all sorts of other channels, but if I only want HBO, that's the cheapest I can get it today. That's why HBO selling directly to me might actually get money out of me. HBO is not worth $130 a month to me.

      Comcast’s current monthly service charges for Digital Premier TV, ranges based on area, from $127.99 to $143.49 (pricing subject to change).

      • Don't know what market you're in, but if you're in a Comcast market, you can get 50Mbps broadband plus broadcast channels and HBO for $50/month, for the first year. After that, it rises to $70/month. Search for Internet Plus with Blast.

        • by praxis ( 19962 )

          I'm in the Seattle market and my quote was from the Comcast website for the lowest tier (without Internet, cable only) which had an option of adding HBO.

          • Understood, but what I'm saying is that, if you're a Comcast customer, you don't _need_ to subscribe to a full TV package to get HBO.

            In Seattle, Internet Plus will get you 50Mbps Internet, plus the broadcast channels (aka Limited Basic), plus HBO, for $45/month. Rises to $65/month in the second year. 25Mbps service is $5/month less.

            http://www.comcast.com/interne... [comcast.com]

            • by praxis ( 19962 )

              Why would I want Comcast internet service? We're talking about the cheapest way to get HBO today.

              From your link:

              Comcast’s current monthly service charge for Internet Plus is $69.95, HBO® is $19.99, and Streampix® is $4.99 (pricing subject to change)

              Which is $95 a month PLUS:

              Equipment, installation, taxes and fees, including Broadcast TV Fee (currently up to $1.50/mo.) extra, such charges and fees subject to change during and after the promotion.

              An unknown amount of fees they don't disclose on that page, which might change during your TWO YEAR CONTRACT. No idea what the termination fees are.

              So, according to what you linked, I was wrong about the $140/mo + whatever fees cable package and indeed you can get HBO cheaper by having a cable internet connection going into your house that's going to sit there unused for

      • by jopsen ( 885607 )

        In my market for me to subscribe to HBO it costs somewhere north of $130 a month, ....

        And out of those 130 USD, HBO makes maybe (maybe) 10 USD, or so... if not less...

        • by praxis ( 19962 )

          In my market for me to subscribe to HBO it costs somewhere north of $130 a month, ....

          And out of those 130 USD, HBO makes maybe (maybe) 10 USD, or so... if not less...

          I don't know how much HBO makes, I care about my cost and value received. Now that there is an option to not pay $120 for other crap I don't care about, I'll give them money. Until then, my only option was $140 a month.

    • Who is actually profiting here ? The cable TV company

      HBO is owned by Time Warner. Time Warner sells cable and makes a lot of money from people buying cable just to get HBO. Hence Time Warner has actively resisted HBO selling their content a la carte. Time Warner will make money either way - they've just been denying the sound of inevitability because the folks at the top fear change.

      • Time Warner and Time Warner Cable are two entirely different companies. They split apart in 2009, and have no connection except for the name.

  • Just in time! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:30PM (#48155197) Homepage

    And it's just in time for the end of net neutrality, so you can be sure your ISP will charge you a premium plan to access HBO online.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      You mean the gigabit fiber the local municipal broadband company is running through my back yard literally right this very second? You know, I'm willing to take that chance.
  • MGM, Universal, Sony, and all copyright owners should just make all their content watchable on their own websites. Instead of clicking to channel 24, I should click to channel mgm.com, paramount.com, or whatever.

    This usage of a middleman like Netflix, where most content isn't even available, doesn't make sense to me.

    I guess they would have to figure out how to inject ads in or around all their content, or standardize on OAuth Connect or something so I don't have to sign up on each website. They would also h

  • Not quite. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @08:14PM (#48155479)
    From what I've read, HBO is considering offering its service as an add-on for you ISP (who is often-times also your cable company). So, while this is slightly better, it's actually bad news because it's entirely possible and probable that ISPs will start bundling gold and platinum packages with HBO, Netflix, Hulu, whatever.

    I don't know, I guess I could just see this going really badly even though it sounds like a good thing at the moment.
    • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

      Where did you read that? At least per this NPR article [npr.org]:

      Beginning in 2015, HBO will offer a streaming service to cord-cutters and other nonsubscribers on an a la carte basis. It should be noted that the announcement HBO released to the media does not explicitly say the service will be HBO GO (or that it won't), only that it will be "a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service." And, of course, it doesn't say how much the service will cost. It doesn't even say it will carry every HBO show, let alone what archiva

      • by asylumx ( 881307 )
        I wish I'd kept a link to the article. It may have been speculation on the part of the author. I really hope it's not the case and that you're correct!
  • Wow, HBO wasn't whistling Dixie earlier this year when the new season of their most popular show was premiering and they insisted they were working diligently on making their content more available, between the Amazon deal and now this.

    The reason is simple: because Game of Thrones.

    While it's still not hitting Sopranos in traditional ratings, between the HBOGO and DVR ratings it's estimated it's audience right up there with the largest scripted TV network show right now (beating BBT) - if you factor in

    • For me it takes out all bar one "valid" reason for downloading. And that is it is streamed. I can't get a broadband connection here fast enough to stream effectively and streaming requires some awful in a browser spawn of satan thing where as I have XBMCbuntu and a backend server. My front ends use a remote control and no keyboard so trying to pop into a browser to watch something is actually quite painful.

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      The problem is that they're not going to let you JUST stream GOT. They're going to probably want you to commit to a year full of programs you won't watch at $20/month or something crazy like that. If you could pay $15 for a whole season of GOT streamed I suspect that it would be a popular offering.

  • not in canada though, their deal with Bell precludes this option. Bell repackages HBO programming with Canadian content to meet CRTC rules (Canada's FCC). CBC reported today that no online content will be available in the near future (contract with Bell til Hell freezes over, no doubt)
  • Not sure where the poster got their data, but HBO revenues are significantly higher than Netflix. Netflix 2014Q2 revenue was $838milion, HBO 2014Q2 revenue was $1.4billion. Netflix has more SUBSCRIBERS than HBO, but they make far less revenue, and are also far less profitable.

    Netflix 2014Q2: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/NFLX/3548772358x0x769748/9b21df7f-743c-4f0f-94da-9f13e384a3d2/July2014EarningsLetter_7.21.14_final.pdf
    HBO 2014Q2: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MjQ1Mzk

  • $49/mo.
    Episodes ala-carte $2.49
    SD / $2.99 720HD / $3.49 1080HD
    Within 12 hours of air

    Step 3: Profit.

  • Not sure if that relates to the story. It might.

  • It's interesting that my local cable monopoly, Time-Warner, has recently offered me cable for $30 per month, including HBO. We seriously considered it, but with the cost of renting the equipment, installation fees, and the fact that that price was good only for one year, we decided that torrents were still a better option. I would happily pay for HBOgo, as long as it's reasonably priced. Same goes for other so-called premium channels. A la carte cable would also be a nice option, but really, you can't beat

  • The big question is: what will stop your cable-providing-ISP from capping bandwidth when you stream HBO? To get around that, they need to go the BBC iPlayer route and allow time-bombed downloads. Of course you can dis-arm the 'feature' by simply renaming the file.
  • This sortof misses the point. Sure, it's create for people who only want HBO without cable, but those of us who want "unbundling" are really looking for specific programs. I don't want to subscribe to "The Discovery Channel." I just want Mythbusters. I don't want to subscribe to "Fox", I just want So You Think You Can Dance. I don't want to subscribe to HBO, I just want Game of Thrones.

    I think, especially with DVRs, people have moved past a channel/network mentality and are in a per-show mentality, just lik

  • Let me guess: "This content is not available in your region" messages for anyone outside the US. :(

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982