HBO News Blog

Why I would pay $20 a month for HBO online

By April Murk on Aug 6, 2012 to HBO News

April chimes in this morning with her thoughts on online HBO-only HBO subscriptions.  Follow her on witter @LostApril!

With the current state of certain satellite providers choosing not to renew certain channels, I thought it would be appropriate to explain why people would like to see HBO available online for a monthly fee. This can certainly apply to other networks as well.

1.     I don’t want to deal with my provider anymore – So the satellite company dropped the other 2 channels you care about. Now the only reason you have *insert satellite provider name* is for HBO.  Why not just drop them altogether and pay a monthly fee for HBO access online?

2.     I can’t afford a $200 cable bill – Why miss your favorite shows because you can no longer afford to spend an exuberant amount of money for 300 other channels that you don’t watch? Did you get a “free” subscription when you signed up for cable and it is run out? Cut that expense with HBO online!

3.     I want to watch when I have the time to watch (aka I don’t have a DVR) – You have to work when True Blood airs? Is it time for bed when Boardwalk Empire comes on? Real life getting in the way? Many of us balance our TV viewing with our daily lives. With an online subscription, view your shows on your time rather than when society deems it. (Not all of us work 9 to 5.)

4.     Have a friend that hasn’t watched *Name Show Here* – Your friend or family member doesn’t have access to HBO’s fine programming for whatever reason and has never seen Game of Thrones. You know they would love it (they read the books, saw an ad, or a favorite actor is featured) but they don’t have HBO or cable. And you don’t have the DVD’s yet. Now what? With an online subscription, one would be able to better share their favorite shows to people who may otherwise never have the chance to watch it. Watch the entire season online, together!

5.       I don’t have access to HBO in my other room – Whether it’s your bedroom or kitchen, you may need to pay an extra fee for access channels you already have available in your living room. Are the kids having a sleep-over and hogging up the living room with video games or children themed movies? What if you could watch True Blood in the privacy of your bedroom without having to have a TV in there? Bust out the laptop and access online!

Also, if you have access to HBOGo, the same exclusive content seen there, such as interactive features for your favorite shows, could be made available for the one monthly fee with an online HBO subscription.

I have listed only five reasons for HBO to start an online subscription option for their customers. I’m sure there are many other reasons. Can you think of any?

Of course, HBO has its reasons for not offering HBOGo as a stand-alone service. For an in-depth look at the network’s position on this issue, check out our previous article, HBOGo: The Value in Exclusivity.


  • Dreamlife

    I would not want an online only option. I still prefer to watch TV on a TV. You can control the video with a remote and it is just more convenient than sitting in front of a computer or connecting a computer to the TV.

    They need to put HBO on the Bravia network so you can access HBO GO on your Sony TV.

    Also, the $20/month is too much for what is offered. You can get much more content for less than $10/month through Netflix and Hulu. The only advantage HBO has is it produces high quality original series.

    My recommendation: if you’re tight on cash, subscribe to HBO when you think you want it (i.e., when your favorite series is airing). If you’re really tight on cash, subscribe after the series has aired its last episode of the season and then marathon all the episodes.

  • Mwilso21

    I can think of one reason it wouldn’t work that trumps them all – HBO would likely cease to exist if they cut ties (or soured the relationship) with these cable/satellite providers. If it’s between not having HBO at all, or continuing to pay my cable bill each month (which is a lot less than $200.00 per month for me with Time Warner, including my high-speed internet and home phone), then it’s a pretty easy choice. I do get what you’re saying, though, I just don’t think cord-cutting is quite as prevalent as many who post on internet forums and blogs seem to think it is.

  • I’m with you on #3. I only have time to catch up on TV that I missed on the weekends. It would be nice to have a online subscription that I can watch my favorite shows anytime.

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