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HBO will start streaming shows without cable in 2015

HBO will finally give many people what they have been requesting for years; a way to access their movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones without a cable TV subscription. That's the word from HBO CEO Richard Plepler, who revealed today at an investor conference that it will offer a "stand alone, over the top" streaming service sometime in 2015.

Details about how this will work are still unknown, although Plepler did say HBO will work with its "current partners" and may bring in new partners as well. HBO already offers a way to stream its many past and present TV shows and its library of movies via HBO Go but it requires a paid subscription to the user's local cable TV provider.

It's way too early to tell how successful this venture will be, but if HBO offers the right amount of features for the right price, it could be a big game changer for TV networks in general. Would you pay for a stand alone HBO streaming service?

Source: Re/code

56 Comments
  • 4.99 per month for what I get with a cable subscription would be awesome. I wouldn't pay as much as I pay for Netflix or Hulu, but close.
  • Considering it is $9.99-15.99 for cable subscribers, expect something in the $14.99 range. They will charge a premium and people will still pay.
  • I don't know... Cable cutters are already used to a certain price... They'd have to at least be a LITTLE competitive...
  • They still would be. Even if you paid for internet, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and a $15 a month HBO GO subscription, you're still paying less than you would from a cable company per month.
  • I'll eat my words if need be, but I think it'll be ~$10
  • While I'd be willing to pay $20 for HBO on its own, I think a stand alone online offering could actually cost less than buying it through a cable provider. When you pay it from Comcast, both Comcast and HBO need to make a profit on you. If you buy from HBO, only HBO needs to make a profit.
  • And they don't want to make cable companies mad :)
  • Offering this at all is going to make the cable companies mad. They could charge $50 a month, it wouldn't matter. Offering this service is a sign that HBO wants to remain competitive. Netflix has proven that a "channel" similar to HBO, offering movies from 3rd parties as well as high quality original programming, can succeed without cable. HBO sees this. And now they are ready to do something about it. I think that your guess of $10-$15 is pretty spot on.
  • I can see cable and phone company's trying to slow down it down or charge HBO for bandwidth..... Posted via the Android Central App
  • It doesn't really matter. Cable's days are numbered; surely these companies can see this. Once fiber becomes more commonplace, consumers (I hope) will be asking themselves why the hell they're still paying for cable when they have this fat pipe going into their home.
  • Until sports are easily available in high quality without cable, it will not go anywhere.
  • 'Until sports are easily available in high quality without cable, it will not go anywhere.' Right, but I think consumers are going to start pushing for it harder as speeds get faster. I don't think the majority of them realize that they're being double-dipped and fleeced, but they will eventually.
  • I really believe that it's all of us non sports viewers that subsidize the sports channels. If the satellite and cable companies offered all of their content ala Carter, espn and channels like it would suffer. Posted with my Note 3 via Android Central App
  • Of we keep net neutrality cable companies won't be allowed to do that Posted via the Android Central App
  • You wouldn't have the cable company's middle man fee though...
  • Come on Showtime. Posted with my MotoX, no case needed.
  • I would subscribe April-June for sure, if they finally bring this iteration of the HBO Go service to Canada! Posted via Android Central App
  • I hope more cable companies do this, but doesn't matter I guess in long run cuz they will just charge more for internet service Posted via the Android Central App with my Moto X G1
  • Probably not. I haven't subscribed in at least 10 years. I sometimes watch its original series while staying in hotels, and I buy the DVDs of the ones I like. That way, I can watch and rewatch them instead of paying even more for a subscription, which wouldn't give me VoD access to all of the old favorites.
  • If i could get this and showtime i would ditch cable all together, as long as i could get the PPV boxing also, obviously not at the monthly price for the PPV
  • Of course, this will happen. And then cost for internet service to actually be able to stream these shows at a watchable quality will skyrocket.
  • I see that coming too. They already charge more if all you have is Internet! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I could totally do this. I've cut the cord and rely on streaming services to fill in the gap.
  • I would definitely pay for stand alone HBO app. Hopefully it comes out before the new season of Game of Thrones.
  • Good move HBO. Is this the beginning if the end of cable as we know it? Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm not that interested in HBO. But ESPN, that I would pay for, especially during football and college basketball season.
  • lol, i'm the opposite. I couldn't care less about ESPN. I wish that network would switch to premium, similar to HBO, etc so I didn't have to pay for it.
  • I'd give them $20 a month without a second thought.
  • Everything should be a la carte Posted via the Android Central App
  • And it begins... Posted via Android Central App
  • this is 'murica and free enterprise! seems wrong HBO cannot sell it's product direct to consumer without going through a third party
  • They need a way into the house. That is via Directv Dish Cable Fios or U Verse. Unless they want to spend money on an alternative delivery method. Most folks get Internet via DSL or Cable or satellite. If those providers get mad they will do things to block or slow down this new threat. Isn't this why Net Neutrality is so important? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just pray for you poor north American souls that the HBO Nordic team won't be involved in the making of the 'streaming' service HBO decided so generously grace is with...
    Let's just say I pay for the service to justify myself downloading HBO shows due to overly compressed audio (makes my speakers sound damaged), semi broken streaming and probably the worst interface created by man.
    It defies any kind of common sense and is so horribly clunky it's mind boggling.
    One could think a service mainly focused on TV series having some kind of way to add your favorite shows and have features like auto mark episodes you've seen, but I guess that's aiming to high...
    Makes apps like showbox seem to be designed by God's. But great to see HBO US finally come to their senses.
  • Finally. I wonder how long Amazon will be able to keep offering HBO series ? Posted via the HTC One
    M8 Android Central App
  • It's nice but I wouldn't pay for it rather have sports channels on the go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Considering I help pay my mom's cable bill just for the HBOgo, this would be a godsend if they did this. I am a 100% streaming customer and this just works for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If this was $10 a month I would be all over it without a second thought. Netflix original programming is a real threat to them and I think they know it. HBO started out much the same in the beginning.
  • yes I've been asking for this for years!!!
  • Definitely! I get my TV OTA now or through Netflix and the internet.
  • Long time coming, I'll definitely support this movement. I don't think it will come in too much higher than Netflix so around $20-25 a month. Please no tiered plans HBO.
  • One less reason to have cable TV :) I wouldn't be opposed to a "premium subscription" add-on for Netflix or Amazon Prime, vs a separate service, either.
  • If I were them, I'd look at two tiers-- the first tier would only be HBO-produced content, the second would include movies as well.
  • Why are you giving them ideas on how to charge us more for the app b4 we can even get our hands on it, dude?
  • Im hoping 4.99 but i go as high as 12.99 anything more not worth it and it needs to support all the devices they have avail now. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes! This is great news! Posted via the Android Central App
  • This may not matter either way for the cable companies. Comcast for instance, they'll see online subscribers for HBO growing, claim they need more money on that bill from cable internet users to "maintain their level of service due to increasing demands of high bandwidth applications". HBO gets their money, Comcast gets their money... We as customers, all get screwed in my opinion one way or another. Net Neutrality (or it's demise) is the real maker or breaker in this. All these online services being turned up, somethings gotta give...
  • This will allow me to cut the cable chord even quicker. Didn't have it for 3 years. I have now and it's cool but if more channels do this, we'll be in for a treat.
  • Let's get to it already!!!! I gave up cable forever ago. There is no need for it any longer!
  • I'd use this service quickly. I'd love to get all of the major movie channels to have individual offerings. Showtime preferably.
  • HBO should have done this s while ago. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Its about time HBO is getting with the program. All of the other cable providers had better get with it too. I think most people only have cable on in the house now for when company comes over. Ive been a loyal Jetflicks customer for several years now. Turned of the cable because I can get the content i want without paying those rediculous cable fees. Before HBO jumps into this area, they should lok at the Jetflicks app and how great it works. I would love to have a stand alone HBO, but not willing to pay more that 10 bucks for it. Too many other options. Also think if Xfinity and Comcast would just move along with the times and offer a stand alone app where i wouldnt need a home subscription, they could also be opening up a new customer base. People like me, who do everything on their phone or tablets or laptops. Im just saying...
  • I've been wanting HBO for a while.. So if the price is right then YES. Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5
  • I would strongly consider it. Posted via Android Central App
  • They need to create more Platforms for their HBO Go app! I don't believe we can see it on PS3 or PS4. We use that all the time to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix etc.
  • I would get it.because I don't have cable
  • Great article John! I just want to suggest that for those who can access HBO Nordic in their county like me, you can use UnoTelly or similar services to get around the block.