HBO Go “Could Evolve” Into a Broadband Subscription Service
HBO has established itself as one of the premier television content creators in the world, and although the company has developed a streaming solution with HBO Go, they have jealously guarded their cable subscription revenue stream by refusing HBO Go to anyone who does not already subscribe to HBO and by refusing to license their content to other streaming services such as Netflix. To date, the only exception to this model has been HBO Nordic in Scandanavia. However, recent comments by HBO CEO Richard Pepler suggests that the company might be starting to court the possibility of potentially offering HBO Go as a standalone service for broadband subscribers. Yes, that is a whole lot hemming and hawing there. HBO finds itself in the unenviable position of trying to leverage HBO Go to gain new subscribers without creating a backlash among cable service providers who count on the draw of HBO to help sell their ever more expensive TV subscription services. The first step in this transition probably won’t be the complete untethering that many cord cutters would like to see, but HBO has to start somewhere.
With such a move, HBO could risk stepping on the toes of the cable providers who pay heavy subscription fees for the exclusivity HBO commits to. But then, cable providers and broadband providers are often two arms on the same body (Comcast, Time Warner). If HBO could transfer its subscription fees to broadband bills rather than cable ones, there could be a situation amenable to all parties.