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HBO’s Standalone Subscription Service Could Launch Earlier Than You Think

by Brandon Russell | December 9, 2014December 9, 2014 7:00 pm PDT

Game of Thrones

HBO’s standalone subscription service could launch as early as April 2015, though what it will actually look like is a big question. Fortune reports that HBO recently axed its in-house project, known as “Maui,” that the streaming service was going to be built on. Instead, HBO will use technology offered by MLB Advanced, whose clients include, WWE Network and WatchESPN. It’s unclear what will happen to HBO Go, the existing mobile product that provides streaming services to HBO subscribers who pay for the service through a cable operator.

Fortune says the higher-ups at HBO were unhappy with the premium cable channel’s Chief Technology Officer, Otto Berkes, who has resigned following HBO’s decision. Fortune highlights HBO Go’s outages earlier this year as an example of Berkes’ ineptitude. The report also highlights a “Napoleonic empire” at the large office in which Berkes worked, which reportedly costs HBO $100 million per year. Since launching HBO Go two years ago, the service has largely remained unchanged.

A memo provided to Fortune outlines HBO’s possible plans for the standalone service. Regardless of what technology HBO uses, the Time Warner subsidiary has made it clear it’s dedicated to fully supporting technology necessary for an April launch.

“Maui was a way to get us into market faster with a less than perfect solution—the external partner will take that burden allowing us to focus on the forward looking technologies we are creating for HBO GO,” said SVP of Technology Program Management, Mark Thomas.

HBO hasn’t announced an official launch date for its standalone service, though it sounds like it could land earlier than expected (so long as HBO can work out its problems behind the scenes).


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...