There’s no reason, right now, that cord-cutters should be trying to figure out how to see Game of Thrones. HBO has a streaming system, HBO Go. It owns its own content. It can easily stream this.
And yet it won’t, largely because Time Warner likes to pretend cord-cutting isn’t the future and cord-cutters don’t exist. HBO, however, exists in the real world, and, as a result, might go cordless sooner than you’d think.
When asked about the situation, Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, had this to say:
Plepler said late Wednesday that HBO GO could be packaged with a monthly Internet service, in partnership with broadband providers, reducing the cost. Customers could pay $50 a month for their broadband Internet and an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with that service, for a total of $60 or $65 per month, Plepler explained. “We would have to make the math work,” he added.
OK, we’ve got to ask: What math?
Realistically speaking, anybody who subscribes to HBO, through cable, is somebody who really wants cable. Like, a lot. You’re not paying a minimum of ten bucks a month on top of an average bill of $86 just to watch HBO. The real killer app for cable companies is sports.
On the other hand, anybody who cuts the cord obviously isn’t going to come back to cable because, holy crap, you might miss an episode of Girls! But they probably are willing to pay ten bucks a month to access HBO Go.
Also, most people probably use companies like Comcast for broadband anyway, so all HBO Go going streaming free would really do is recapture some of that revenue from cord-cutters.
Of course, just the word “cord-cutters” makes cable companies hiss in fear, so this might be a rockier road than it looks.