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I consider large scale defection to be inevitable, though it might be more accurate to call it attrition.

I also consider it inevitable that HBO will eventually change its stance, not by licensing content to NetFlix or Hulu, but by allowing customers to subscribe directly, independent of cable.

The Hub

HBO GO and on-demand allows for HBO binging. Folks can sign up for a couple of months, catch up on the the series they want and then cancel. They will come back when there's new content but it wouldn't be for the full year.


@Hub - I already do that. I subscribe to HBO for the $15/month while they're airing Game of Thrones. Then I cancel HBO until the next year's season. What's nice is I can subscribe with a couple clicks from my DVR. I have to call to cancel of course, but the cable company doesn't hassle me when I do.


Sorry HBO, I'm never going to subscribe to cable again… Signing up for a couple months of HBO not only inconveniences me, but it also undermines the whole effort to get them to offer us Go access directly. I'll inconvenience myself by watching the seasons later via rental or borrowing from a friend before I give in and go back to cable.

Account Deleted

It's idiotic. I'd sign up with them -right now- if they offered a standalone app on PS3 and Android devices. Their content is definitely the sort of programing that deserved to be rewarded worth my cash. But I dont want to pay for Hoarders and Jersey Shore to get to it.

As it is, I'm one minimal price hike away from cutting back to the most basic cable package, or to no cable at all.


@JaredK - With some providers, you don't need to pay for Hoarders or Jersey Shore to get HBO.


HBO? HBO? Oh yea, that over-priced channel that I never watched when I was still stupid enough to waste money on cable. Even when I had HBO for free for a year I had to force myself to watch it twice. If you want to stay over-priced and loose to your competition, go right ahead. RIP HBO.

Robert Emmerich

"I wonder how long this strategy will last if people start defecting in large numbers from cable TV."

My hunch is that the people who are cutting the cord probably weren't subscribing to HBO in the first place. I'm sure somebody has HBO subscription numbers by quarter for the past few years. I'm pretty sure they lost subscribers after The Sopranos ended but that's years ago now. It sounds like a sound business decision to me not to offer HBO Go, at the moment, to non-subscribers. Wiki - As of March 2011, HBO's programming reaches 28.2 million subscribers in the United States, also broadcasts in at least 151 countries worldwide. More than nf.

Anybody have a comparison of TWC/HBO vs. nf stock price for the past 4 months? ;-)


i hope not HBO always did suck


That's a shame. I cancelled the $15 a month HBO bill from cable but would be willing to pay a similar price to Netflix streaming for HBO movies and content.

Larry Dallas

HBO is the best part about cable. Think about it. Part of each cable bill has a built in cost for channels like ESPN ($4). HBO gives me all the HBO channels in HD, HBO OnDemand HD, HBOGo, & the none HD feeds for the west cost for $15.

True Blood, Thrones, Boardwalk, Hung, Eastbound, Real Sports - are just what is still on now. HBO is the best thing on TV. Worth every single penny.


I disagree that HBO is worth the $15 they charge. They do offer compelling original programing but 15 bucks a month is too much based on the overall return. This is all personal opinion of course in which we all differ.

The very next article posted after this story provides a clear contrast between the two companies. HBO is concerned w/ content only and keeping people locked in their little sphere of influence. NF on the other hand is devoting 15% (and probably more in the future) of their revenue towards content and original programing while still focusing on licensing. In other words offering the most they can to subscribers for a still reasonable fee. They aren't closing doors on ideas and possible future revenue streams like HBO is. The result being on any given day I can find much more to watch on NF than I ever could on HBO...at nearly half the price.


I'm with the scores of others who point out HBO doesn't have to liscense they could likely make do by just offering stand alone purchases to people over HBO Go, Xbox, PS3, etc. Thus catering to cord cutters and cable fans alike. One wonders of HBO stupidly signed some non-compete with TWC/Comcast/etc. that prevents them from getting in on this potential goldmine.


They already offer their shows to non-subscribers... just wait a year or so and rent the DVDs..

(and at least one other show, Bill Maher's show, is available as a free audio podcast)

Edward R Murrow

So all you HBO haters - what's equivalent to content such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, Deadwood, Entourage, Band of Brothers, John Adams, etc?

That's a rhetorical question because no other content comes close to the crown jewels that HBO owns.


my hbo has gone up 4$ in the last year to 20$ a month and i watched two of my favorite shows , curb and bored to death. both were around 16 episodes together thats 8 hours since both run 30 minutes. i'm getting a good deal.

Nate Hiatt

I guess if you watch literally every single show HBO offers it is worth it. But if it is just a handful of shows and you do the math, you might be better off buying them from someone like amazon streaming. They put them out for purchase (not rent), shortly after the season ends. The entire season is usually <30$, or less than 2 months of an HBO subscription. HBO should be looking to maximize it's viewership. It will always have cable subscribers to bleed. My father is not going to mess around with signing up online with a credit card and accessing HBOGO via a TV/Roku/etc. He's too old and set in his ways to mess with it. I on the other hand, don't have cable but wouldn't mind HBO for their boxing coverage and the occasional show. HBO lost out on the UFC to Fox and I wonder how much longer they can hold onto boxing. This weekends Cotto/Margarito PPV which is being distributed by HBOPPV is available for purchase online, no cable/dish needed. The boxing promoters are going that direction.


I'm with most people, HBO isn't convincing me to change my mind. I cut the cord. I'm the future. HBO can get with the program or fade away into obscurity. No skin off my back.

Louis S

Well I guess I won't be watching HBO's programming over the next few years....oh well, their loss.

Tom in NY

I'm on Time Warner cable in New York. They don't offer HBO Go whether you subscribe to HBO or not.

Eddard Stark

I am a Game of Thrones fanatic, and would gladly shell out $15 a month or more to be able to reward HBO for their great production values. But I refuse to pay for hundreds of channels I have no intention of watching.

Guess what - I can get a high quality torrent (720p), 1 hour after the show airs on HBO. Looks great streaming on my PS3. Until HBO wises up, I'll continue to steal. Sorry guys.

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