I’ve been trying to contain my excitement over something I just heard.
“What’s that?” you ask.
Next year you can get HBO without a cable subscription.
Now let it sink in.
Like many of you, I’ve got a two year contract with Fios for my TV, internet and phone.
When I switched from Comcast to Fios, I signed up for the bundled service with that great introductory price.
Once I added the DVR box, the additional set top boxes, and premium channels to the mix, that “great introductory price” went away.
And I end up with a bundle costing me a cool two bills a month.
Outside of the occasional on-demand movie or DVRd show I missed when it originally aired, I was just throwing away money with my cable subscription.
With the exception of HBO, I rarely watch anything on EPIX, STARZ, or any of the other premium channels I pay so dearly for.
So you can imagine my delight to hear that I’ll be able to decouple from cable and still get my HBO on.
Well maybe you can’t actually imagine my delight – but I am delighted damn it!
I started transitioning away from cable a few years ago when I got my Apple TV.
With Hulu Plus, Netflix, and iTunes, I’ve got access to virtually the same content as if offered on premium cable channels.
And the HBO GO app also allows me to watch all the content on that channel (albeit with my cable subscription) on the go.
The bigger thing for me, though, is not the decoupling of HBO from cable, it’s the precedent that HBO has set with this move.
Already, premium networks like EPIX, STARZ, ESPN, and Showtime have apps that let you access their content on demand.
With Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire and gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation all offering streaming services, once other broadcast companies follow suit, you’re no longer going to be beholden to the cable companies.
And soon(er than later) you’ll be able to cut the ties that bind (literally and figuratively) and get rid of that stupid cable bill.
We’ll have to see what kinds of deals HBO is able to strike with other set top box manufacturers, and how many of them ultimately end up carrying the channel.
But it’s definitely a sign of things to come.