HBO won't be caught napping when it's time to pull trigger on internet-based TV
9th Mar 2014 | 16:38
...but don't expect it to happen any time soon
If you're hoping that HBO will suddenly decide to let non-cable subscribers sign up for HBO Go, then don't hold your breath. There's more chance of Sean Bean returning for season four of Game of Thrones.
The current model of requiring HBO to be bundled with a cable provider is going great guns with two million new households added in 2014 and GoT surpassing The Sopranos as its most watched show ever.
However, that doesn't mean the company isn't making contingency plans in the ever-shifting TV industry. HBO claims it will be ready when the time comes to cut the cable and allow online, a la carte subscriptions.
CEO Richard Plepler told Variety: "We will not be caught without the ability to pivot should we decide that pivoting is the right thing to do. It's a sin to leave money on the table."
Good to Go
Plepler said HBO is already working more flexibility into deals with distributors to ensure it has ability to switch things up when the time is right.
Part of HBO's softening stance on IPTV is the success of its HBO Go application, which features a massive library of content and the ability for subscribers to catch up on shows just one hour after they air.
Fans of shows like Game of Thrones, Girls, Boardwalk Empire and, more recently, True Detective have called for the network to offer access to non-cable subscribers, but HBO continues to resist the calls.
If it were to jump over to a more internet-centric distribution model, than it could spark a sea change where viewers could pick and choose their favourite channels and have them streamed directly to the television.