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HBO - Still the trailblazer in the 21st Century


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#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:22 AM

If you don't subscribe to the HBO premium package you still need to be aware of what they are doing.

Unlike NBCU, News Corp, Disney/ESPN/ABC, Rainbow Media, etc., they don't ask anyone to pay for their content unless they want it. Perhaps it's just because they were early in the cable game and chose the "premium-you-only-pay-for-it-if-you-want-it" model. But never let it be said that moss is growing on their building foundations.

As noted in an article in a paidContent: The Economics of Digital Content article Why HBO is once again TV’s most relevant network:

It was just one more small step for TV Everywhere. HBO Go will now be available on yet another tablet, the Kindle Fire, through eight out of the top 10 pay TV services in the U.S. And it was just one more incremental move for HBO, as the premium cable company ... re-establishes itself as television’s most relevant programming brand.

...HBO is just as important to the evolution of the television business as it was a decade ago, just for different reasons. Instead of bucking the TV establishment with groundbreaking shows, the subscriber-supported service, which still touts an industry-leading 29 million customers, is now carrying the establishment on its back. As traditional TV’s most proliferate brand — available on Xbox 360 game consoles, iPads, Roku set-tops and now Android tablets like Kindle Fire, through a consensus roster of pay TV operators — the fate of HBO Go is the fate of TV Everywhere.

Netflix is out there teaching consumers that they can stream all they want for $7.99 a month; HBO is trying un-teach the concept that eight bucks a month will really sustain the kind of truly premium television content you’ve grown accustomed to. And until Netflix proves that it can reliably create a full slate of original hits, no other programmer is as boldly venturing into the multi-device world on the strength of its own content.

The difference between HBO and even it's sister Time Warner stations like TNT and CNN is that anyone who has cable or satellite can have HBO but no one who has cable or satellite is forced to pay for it - like a tax for some "greater good" - in order to watch other channels they want.

And if you choose to pay a cable or satellite TV provider for the HBO channels, then you are entitled to its original content free on the internet on almost any platform. Welcome to a sustainable 21st Century economic model.

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#2 OFFLINE   jdskycaster

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:32 AM

Hopefully we continue to get closer and closer to the end of ad supported entertainment content across the board. It will be the future. Ad supported networks producing predominantly mediocre content that we still have to pay for is an outmoded form of content production and delivery.

#3 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:39 AM

...And if you choose to pay a cable or satellite TV provider for the HBO channels, then you are entitled to its original content free on the internet on almost any platform. Welcome to a sustainable 21st Century economic model.

Hello Comcast, Directv ...are you listening? :confused:

Edited by Nick, 08 June 2012 - 12:42 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

I pretty much agree with the assessment of HBO and generally keep them and Showtime lit all the time. The combination of Boxing, great original series and the occasional movie make them something I value. And to a lesser extent, I also keep Max and Starz lit for shorter periods a couple times a year.

The part that I don't like is that the cost of entry to even have the opportunity to subscribe to them is a bit on the high side. With just a couple DVRs and the lowest advertised package with D*, the bill comes in around $75 before you add the premiums. I'd love it if you could just subscribe to HBOGo and MaxGo independently, and hopefully Starz and Showtime could step up to that bar too. Then drop cable/sat completely.

Plenty of ways to find most of the 'cable' type shows for more reasonable pricing.

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#5 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:16 PM

Hello Comcast, Directv...are you listening? :confused:


Doesn't DIRECTV already have HBOGO?

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#6 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:33 PM

Doesn't DIRECTV already have HBOGO?


Yup, and MaxGo.
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#7 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

I pretty much agree with the assessment of HBO and generally keep them and Showtime lit all the time. The combination of Boxing, great original series and the occasional movie make them something I value. And to a lesser extent, I also keep Max and Starz lit for shorter periods a couple times a year.

The part that I don't like is that the cost of entry to even have the opportunity to subscribe to them is a bit on the high side. With just a couple DVRs and the lowest advertised package with D*, the bill comes in around $75 before you add the premiums. I'd love it if you could just subscribe to HBOGo and MaxGo independently, and hopefully Starz and Showtime could step up to that bar too. Then drop cable/sat completely.

Plenty of ways to find most of the 'cable' type shows for more reasonable pricing.

I think the issue is related to mutual survival - that HBO needs satellite and cable providers and they need it. What I think needs to happen in a restructuring of the cable and broadcast model. Right now if you go to the Time Warner owned sister stations TBS and TNT web sites, to watch current shows through the internet you have to sign in through your provider and get a screen like this:

Posted Image


Those stations are not voluntary, but rather a part of a bottom tier package with most carriers - you're "taxed" to support them if you don't watch them. IMHO it's time the media companies survive on their own. Time Warner could offer The CW, TNT, TBS, CNN, TCM, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TruTV, CNN, and HLN as a package of advertising supported channels (you have to make it affordable for the working class family). Further they could do things like offer HBO subscribers elements of that channel package a la carte.

Obviously, this is just tossing around ideas.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
A GEEZER who remembers watching TV in 1951 and was an Echostar customer from 1988 to 2008, now a Dish Network customer.
My AV Setup
My Slingbox Pro HD Experience
My Blog: The Redwood Guardian


#8 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:22 PM

I hadn't been to TNT or any of the other network sites for quite some time. Didn't know they had started doing that. :( There's another freebie that just disappeared, huh?

That damages the old 'cut the cord' mantra that many are talking about a bit, doesn't it? I suspect we can expect more of this, not less. More and more internet video sites going to some sort of lock in, or charging for a subscription.

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#9 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Doesn't DIRECTV already have HBOGO?

DIRECTV authorizes HBO-Go on the HBO-Go Android app, the DIRECTV Android phone app and on Xbox, but for some reason DIRECTV isn't authorizing HBO-Go on Roku.

(I can't speak to what it authorizes on iPhone or iPad or iOS apps.)

#10 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:11 PM

DIRECTV authorizes HBO-Go on the HBO-Go Android app, the DIRECTV Android phone app and on Xbox, but for some reason DIRECTV isn't authorizing HBO-Go on Roku.

(I can't speak to what it authorizes on iPhone or iPad or iOS apps.)


It's on both, as is MaxGo. But I might say it'd be as accurate to say that HBO authorizes content on those devices! In truth, they both have to agree....
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#11 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:30 AM

If you don't subscribe to the HBO premium package you still need to be aware of what they are doing.

Unlike NBCU, News Corp, Disney/ESPN/ABC, Rainbow Media, etc., they don't ask anyone to pay for their content unless they want it. Perhaps it's just because they were early in the cable game and chose the "premium-you-only-pay-for-it-if-you-want-it" model. But never let it be said that moss is growing on their building foundations.

As noted in an article in a paidContent: The Economics of Digital Content article Why HBO is once again TV’s most relevant network: The difference between HBO and even it's sister Time Warner stations like TNT and CNN is that anyone who has cable or satellite can have HBO but no one who has cable or satellite is forced to pay for it - like a tax for some "greater good" - in order to watch other channels they want.

And if you choose to pay a cable or satellite TV provider for the HBO channels, then you are entitled to its original content free on the internet on almost any platform. Welcome to a sustainable 21st Century economic model.


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