This is great news. It’s not completely a la carte, but in select markets (perhaps as a trial to be rolled out nationwide soon), Comcast subscribers can get HBO Go without paying for an expensive, full-scale TV package. In fact, instead of bundling HBO with 150 useless channels that you are required to subscribe to in order to get HBO, Comcast is bundling HBO with broadband Internet service.
That makes total sense, actually. WHAT’S GOING ON? WHY ARE CABLE COMPANIES BEING LOGICAL?
After all, you need to have Internet service in order to watch HBO Go, anyway. The package currently includes HBO, Internet service, and a basic lineup of 45 channels for $39.99 a month, which is actually less than I pay for Internet alone on Time Warner, and certainly far less than the $100 – $150 many (including myself) have to pay to get HBO (and HBO Go) included in our cable/Internet packages.
It should be stressed, however, that this is only available in select markets (like Northern California) and only available to new subscribers. However, if it works, there’s no reason to believe that Comcast won’t roll it out nationwide and that it won’t become standard in the months and years to come. In fact, the CEO of Time Warner (which is the parent company of HBO) has stated that he’d be OK with cable providers rolling out HBO Go without the full cable package if it was bundled with Internet service, which would keep those cable providers happy with HBO.
It’s not the most ideal situation, but it’s a helluva good first step. After all, it’s only been a year or so since HBO adamantly insisted that they would never offer HBO Go a la carte. With Netflix recently surpassing HBO in numbers of subscribers, HBO clearly needs shake some things up in order to continue to be competitive.
(Source: The Verge)