HBO’s executive leadership seems locked on keeping access to the premium cable network exclusive to cable and satellite TV subscribers, the same isn’t necessarily true for its HBO Go streaming service.
At the Game of Thrones season three premiere event earlier this week, the channel’s chief exec Richard Plepler opened up about the possibility of selling standalone access to HBO Go as part of a bundled broadband Internet subscription plan. Plepler suggested that bundling Internet service with premium streaming video services could be part of a new evolution for how content is packaged, but didn’t offer any kind of hard time frame of when it could happen, reports Reuters.
“We would have to make the math work,” Plepler told Reuters.
And I think I speak for a whole slew of people when I say, HBO needs to get cracking on that math ASAP.
HBO Go’s streaming app provides on-demand access to hundreds of notable movies as well as a complete library of all HBO original programming, including The Sopranos, True Blood, Newsroom, and Game of Thrones. And since HBO Go is currently a complimentary service to the cable channel, you’ll need to spend about $25 to $40 on top of a regular monthly cable or satellite TV subscription bill.
Yet, if HBO Go did become something that customers could add on to their Internet bundle, Plepler indicated that it could drop the price of the streaming service to an estimated $10 to $15 per month. That means people who only wanted Internet and HBO shows would spend around $65 per month instead of the over $150 in monthly subscriptions as a result of having a full cable TV service within a bundle of services.
Depending on who you talk to and which reports you read, cable TV subscriptions are being seen as unnecessary expenses that can’t compete with low-cost streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, each of which cost $8 per month for a large library of video content. Over the next few years, this could translate into drastically lower cable TV customer — and in turn cut into the lucrative revenue stream that HBO currently gets by keeping the channel paired with cable subscriptions. And when you look at it that way, pairing HBO Go with broadband Internet actually makes a lot of sense for everyone except the cable companies.
Image via HBO