Patt Morrison for June 8, 2012

HBO won’t offer stand-alone TV outside of cable … for now

HBO With The Cinema Society Host The New York Premiere Of HBO's "Girls"

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Executive producer Jenni Konner, actress Zosia Mamet, actress Jemima Kirke, executive producer Judd Apatow, actress/creator/executive producer Lena Dunham, and actress Allison Williams attend the premiere of HBO's "Girls," which requires a pricey cable subscription to watch.

Tough luck, web TV viewers. You won’t be able to watch “The Wire” or “Game Of Thrones” without a pricey cable and HBO subscription anytime soon.

A site called Take My Money HBO asked optimistic viewers, “How much would you pay monthly for a standalone HBO GO streaming service? Enter a number and Tweet it to let HBO know we want it and we will pay.” Despite over 10,000 people jumping on the site within two hours, pleading for HBO to drop their ties to cable, the cable company came out and said that a web-only service wouldn’t work, for now.

What HBO does offer viewers is HBO GO, a web streaming service that still requires a cable and HBO subscription. Other cable channels like ESPN have launched WatchESPN, which also requires a cable subscription to access.

Ryan Lawler from TechCrunch broke down why HBO could not offer a stand-alone service right now: “There’s no way that HBO could make up in online volume the number of subscribers it would lose from cable. Which is why, even though some users would actually pay more for access to HBO GO without all the other cable channels, you won’t see it show up as a standalone service anytime soon.”

Guests:

Brian Stelter, television and digital media reporter for The New York Times, who writes at Media Decoder.

Ryan Lawler, writer at TechCrunch, a technology website.


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