HBO Hints It Can’t Go Online-Only Just Yet

Ever since the launch of HBO Go, the online portal that gives subscribers to the premium network access to a wide archive of shows and movies at no extra charge, fans have been begging the network to offer a standalone, subscription version that wouldn’t require them to have cable. But it looks like that won’t happen — at least in the immediate future.

Earlier today, HBO, which has generally not responded to calls for an independent online offering, Tweeted in response to the growing popularity of the hashtag #takemymoneyHBO:

Love the love for HBO. Keep it up. For now, @RyanLawler @TechCrunch has it right: http://itsh.bo/JLtSFE ‪#takemymoneyHBO

Let’s decode this for most people. The “Take my money, HBO” thing is the brainchild of TakeMyMoneyHBO.com, which lets people enter a dollar amount they would be willing to pay for a standalone HBO Go and then have that amount Tweeted with the aforementioned hashtag.

It’s gotten some press recently, including this TechCrunch piece by Ryan Lawler, where he explains that the average $12/month that a small, but very vocal group of people would pay for HBO Go is nowhere near sufficient to make up for the trouble it would cause between HBO and cable/satellite providers:

The results would be disastrous, and 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.

So HBO’s Tweet is effectively a confirmation of Lawler’s thinking, but at least the network included “for now,” leaving open the door to a world in which you don’t need to pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch PLUS HBO just to watch Game of Thrones online.

(via NY Times)

Thanks to MutantMonkey for the tip!