HBO will soon be available to customers without requiring cable or satellite service.
The network, which is home to the popular TV show Game of Thrones, will reportedly launch ‘HBO Now.’ Customers will be able to subscribe to HBO Now for $15/month, independent of whether they have another pay-TV subscription.
The release of HBO Now will come just in time for the start of the 5th season of the hit series Game of Thrones. Through a cable service provider like Comcast, HBO is offered as an add-on channel for around an extra $10/month.
HBO already has an app, HBO GO, which allows customers to access its content on mobile devices or with compatible media streaming devices. However, HBO GO required cutovers to log in with their cable or satellite subscription information.
The move to make HBO content available without pat-TV service follows an increasing trend among networks and service providers to appeal to customers who want more flexible TV and entertainment options. The movement toward cutting the cable cord—opting out of expensive monthly cable and satellite subscriptions—is growing, and networks and service providers are taking notice.
In addition to HBO, CBS currently offers customers a standalone subscription to access its content for $6/month. Earlier this year DISH Network launched a new Internet TV service, Sling TV. The service gives subscribers access to a handful of popular cable channels with their basic “Best of Live TV” package priced at $20/month.
More options mean that more TV fans will be able to see the shows they want without having to pay for traditional cable packages. Once popular networks like HBO begin offering standalone options, other networks will be more likely to follow suit in order to stay competitive.