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Cutting the cord: HBO to offer a standalone streaming service in 2015

Cutting the cord: HBO to offer a standalone streaming service in 2015

October 15, 2014

Do you want to watch first-run HBO programs but rather not pay a cable or satellite company to do so? Soon you won’t have to if you live in the United States.

HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler has announced that HBO will offer a standalone streaming service next year.

Speaking at an investor meeting on Wednesday, Plepler said:

So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners.  And, we will explore models with new partners.  All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.

Sounds like a lot more people are about to enjoy “Game of Thrones,” no?

In March 2013, Plepler indicated that his company was looking into a way to expand the reach of HBO Go with broadband partners.

Under the plan Plepler envisioned at the time, “customers could pay $50 a month for their broadband Internet and an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with that service, for a total of $60 or $65 per month.”

As he stated, “We would have to make the math work.”

Content and service providers have long been at odds on how best to provide entertainment to mobile device owners. The current strategy has been to only allow this programming when coupled with an existing cable or satellite subscription. However, thanks to the Web, many users are dropping these subscriptions. Hence the reason for a system like the one mentioned above.

Earlier this year, Amazon inked a content licensing agreement with HBO, making Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming. This was the first time that HBO programming had been licensed to an online-only subscription streaming service.

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