The cable television industry in the United States will get a major shake up next year, with ‘crown jewel’ network HBO announcing it’ll offer subscriptions outside of TV packages for the first time next year.
HBO, which is home to some of the world’s most popular shows like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, says it wants everyone in the US to have access to the programming whether they have cable or not.
Currently, anyone wishing to watch HBO must purchase it through their cable or satellite provider or obtain the HBO GO password from someone who does.
The broadcaster has not offered a release date or a price for the standalone subscription, but it may worry the likes of Netflix which has carried the flag for cable-free programming in the US so far.
“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO, wrote CEO Richard Plepler.
“So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners. And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.”
The deal in the US is unlikely to affect HBO’s relationships with UK broadcaster Sky, which holds exclusive rights to most of the top HBO shows.
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