In its pursuit of online, cable and Satellite TV subscribers, HBO announced today that it will be selling its service via the Internet starting in 2015. This will give customers access to HBO content even if they don’t have cable or Satellite TV service.
Specific details have yet to be revealed, but the network’s CEO Richard Plepler says, “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.” According to Plepler, there are 90 million homes that don’t have HBO and the new service will give those homes an alternative to subscribing to HBO through their cable or Satellite TV provider – if those homes even subscribe to TV service.
The new service will create a new competitor to online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu who have begun to pull consumers away from subscribing to cable and Satellite TV. HBO GO is the network’s current online streaming service but it requires a subscription to a cable or Satellite provider. The new service would only require customers to have an Internet connection.
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Also announced today, Netflix has acquired streaming rights for the popular 90s comedy series, Friends. This gives Netflix subscribers access to all 236 episodes of the series; the first time all 83 hours of the series has been available on a streaming subscription service.