HBO eyes new partnership with providers on streaming service

The company could offer a cheaper option for cable customers who want HBO Go but don't have television service.

HBO could be considering a new way to get its streaming service, HBO Go, to customers.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview published yesterday, HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler said that his company is mulling the possibility of offering HBO Go to cable provider customers who don't pay for TV service. Customers who don't pay for television service could pay an extra $10 or $15 per month for access to HBO's programming through HBO Go, broadening the streaming service's scope.

HBO's paid cable network has nearly 30 million subscribers. However, the company's streaming offering has 6.5 million registered users, according to Reuters. HBO Go customers currently don't need to pay an additional fee for access to the service; it's available as a free offering for those who pay for HBO through their cable providers.

In his discussion with Reuters, Plepler acknowledged that there would be some pitfalls with the proposed plan, saying that his company "would have to make the math work." HBO makes billions of dollars on its current business model. To offer customers a far cheaper option for access to its programming could cannibalize some of its revenue.

Given that, it's unlikely that HBO will offer the service anytime soon, and it's clear based on Plepler's comments that the details surrounding the move have yet to be fully worked out. Still, its an interesting idea.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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