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HBO Slowly Opens Up to Possibility of Standalone HBO Subscriptions

by Brandon Russell | September 12, 2014September 12, 2014 12:30 pm PST


HBO Go could maybe, possibly, hopefully one day be offered without the ickiness of a cable subscription. Time Warner chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes, seemed more open to the possibility, saying the company is “seriously considering” an a la carte option in the future. We don’t know when, and we don’t know for how much. But the fact that Bewkes believes there might be an opportunity is a big step toward the dream scenario of a subscription-based HBO Go.

While speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Bewkes admitted the affiliate system might not be sustainable in the longterm, and noted that the “broadband opportunity is quite a bit bigger.” At the moment, Bewkes seems more concerned with how to convince cable subscribers to also pay for HBO. But there could be some online distribution model down the road, which indicates the premium cable channel definitely feels threatened by the success of services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant video.

Bewkes, being in such a high-up position with Time Warner, used his words carefully, but just because he admits there’s an opportunity doesn’t mean the company will seize it. There have been ways to get HBO Go through specially curated pay-TV packages, but unless you convince someone who actually subscribes to HBO to give you their login information, we’re not much closer to a standalone option.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...