HBO Starting Standalone Streaming Service .. in US


(courtesy Broadcast Dialogue’ and today’s ‘Essential Reading’ Oct. 16 2014)

HBO says it will launch a standalone, web-based OTT service in the U.S. next year that will allow consumers to get the channel without requiring a cable or satellite subscription.

CEO Richard Plepler says the time has come to capitalize on the growth of video viewing over the web. Other U.S. cable channels are said to be considering a similar approach. CBS has hinted that it may consider selling Showtime directly to consumers, bypassing pay-TV providers. And ESPN recently set the wheels in motion for a web-based service that would stream live NBA games to non-cable, non-satellite subscribers.

As ‘Broadcast Dialogue’ points out today, the move by HBO to let viewers sidestep their BDUs to watch popular shows may eventually signal a setback for Canadian distributors that carry the programs. But, for the moment, making inroads here likely won’t happen until at least 2018. New HBO programming is under an exclusive licence in Canada to Corus Entertainment and Bell Media.


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