Speaking at a New Republic event the new CEO of HBO Richard Plepler explained that HBO is aware that some of their customers would like to “cut the cord” from their cable companies while retaining legal access to Game of Thrones, Boarwalk Empire et al. Responding to an audience member’s question Plepler said:
“At the same you have to keep your eyes on your north stars, which define your business. Part of the north star reality for us is, there are billions and billions of dollars in revenues that are part of our distribution landscape, and to simply circumvent that, even though we understand there is a part of our audience which would subscribe to the network if they didn’t have to have a cable package or a satellite package, just doesn’t make business sense for us to do. Doesn’ t mean we are not mindful that the problem exists.
Every day there are people now thinking about what are the variations on the theme. How can we work with our partners to do that? Is there a broadband-only play, with HBO Go, with our partners, that might be appealing?”
Obviously this is not a confirmation of anything in the works. But it’s good to know that HBO doesn’t have a deaf ear to those wanting to legally watch their shows who don’t want or simply can’t afford cable. But as the first commenter over at DSLReports says it’s all about “Constant money vs maybe money”.
Here’s a another response to a question from a young woman describing herself as a millennial of Lena Dunham’s generation wondering how she is supposed to afford HBO to watch a show that ironically portrays girls who are unable to afford HBO:
“We are going to get you a little raise where you work so that you can afford the product”
Of course the man was joking above. He actually said “Welcome to the real world, little lady” right after that (no, of course he didn’t but wouldn’t that have been hilarious?)
Those pining to watch HBO but don’t want to have to page Avon Barksdale for a loan got thrown this bone:
“We recognize that there’s a piece of the audience out there that, if they could get HBO without going through a pay package, [they] would get it.”
We’ll leave it there and let you chime in below with your thoughts. Will an online-only subscription happen any time soon? Can you understand HBO’s side of the argument for why it hasn’t happened yet? Give us your thoughts, frustrations and middle fingers.