HBO considering offering non-cable subscribers HBO GO

By Daniel S Levine,

HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the network is considering allowing non-cable subscribers access to HBO GO, its online streaming service that gives customers access to shows and movies.

Plepler spoke to Reuters on Wednesday, at a screening of the season three premiere of Game of Thrones. He mentioned that HBO GO could “evolve” in a partnership with their broadband providers to give customers access to the service without cable.

HBO GO launched in 2010 so that subscribers could watch their shows anywhere, but it is currently only available to cable subscribers who pay the extra fee for HBO. For people who don’t pay for cable, the new HBO GO could be available for just an extra $10-$15 on their Internet bill, Plepler said.

“We would have to make the math work,” he said.

This new ‘evolution’ of HBO GO could cut down on piracy of HBO’s programs, particularly GoT, which was named the most-pirated show of 2012. For season three, HBO will not change any part of its distribution model, which means not putting episodes on iTunes for months. Even actor John Bradley-West suggested that the company try to stop piracy by posting shows on iTunes after the shows air.

Deadline notes that Plepler’s comments are a reversal of what he said in January, when he stood by the idea that an Internet-only option wouldn’t be in the company’s best interests.

Game of Thrones premieres on March 31.

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