HBO Cracks Down on Canadians Accessing HBO Now via VPN

According to a report by The Financial Post, HBO is cracking down on Canadians accessing the HBO Now streaming service with the help of VPN and DNS geo-unblocking tools. The service, which is exclusively available through Apple TV at launch and also online in the U.S. for $14.99, is being enjoyed by people outside of the United States as well, the same way Hulu and other U.S. only streaming services are accessed.

HBO disco

(Image via TorrentFreak)

Even though VPN users are also paying subscription-based customers, they are however violating HBO’s terms of use. The publication notes that unlike Netflix, HBO is reportedly cracking down on Canadians, as well as people in other regions of the world, who are accessing HBO Now.

Users in various regions, including Canada, U.K, Germany and Australia, have all reportedly received notifications from HBO. The source adds that the emails also state HBO will terminate any account associated with a VPN or DNS service on April 21 without the option for a refund.

In Canada Bell and Corus hold the exclusive TV rights for HBO, and the only way to watch HBO content legally via the internet is through CraveTV, or through HBO Canada online and the TMN Go app. Interestingly, Bell spokesman Scott Henderson dodged the question of whether the company had rights to a standalone HBO streaming service in Canada (via Alphabeatic):

“[I] appreciate the question, but could never comment on the nature of any future rights exercise for competitive reasons,” he replied. I double-checked today and asked whether Bell had full streaming rights to all HBO content in Canada, and whether those rights extend only to older content or if they include newer content as well. I also asked again if the rights are tied to TV subscriptions. “We stream new HBO content on TMN Go, which is authenticated, and library content on CraveTV,” he replied.

So apparently, the company does not have the rights to offer a standalone HBO streaming service in Canada, or at least possibly not until the multiyear deals with Bell and Corus run out in 2018.

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  • Nick Cameron Greene

    HBO Canada aka Bell, has been cracking down hard on people. I got a copyright letter from them about the leaked 4 episodes that went up online the day the season premier aired. Insult to injury is that I PAY for HBO. What Bell needs to learn is that if they don’t find a way to deliver content in an easy, affordable way, little by little people will leave and some other company will take its place. I fail to see the morality of them going after alleged pirates when they knowingly sell customer information. Totally disconnected situations, but I don’t see why they would go to such efforts to stop alleged pirates, but sweep their own misdeeds under the rug. Pick your battles Bell, this isn’t the time to make enemies with your customers. You’re bad enough already!

  • R Leah

    Thank you ..I was about to sign a 2 years contract with Bell

  • Salinger

    HBO Now not coming to Canada, in my opinion at least, has nothing to do with Bell not having the rights, it’s with Bell not having the desire.

    As I’ve said before, the problem we have in Canada is the severe vertical integration in our telecoms. They own the studios, they own the rights, they own the internet providers, they own the distribution channels. They’re not about to do something on one of their business lines, that’s going to negatively impact another.

    Offering HBO Now to anyone with internet access would kill a big part of their satellite/Fibe business as HBO is a big hook to get customers to sign on for TV service. They’re not about to do that anytime soon in my estimation.

  • runner

    Rule of thumb, if it is from the States, it is probably better than whatever we have.

  • Max

    netflix is now bigger than the BIG 3 combine there going to lose this battle


    mobile payment = APPLE PAY SOON

    the only profit the Big 3 will get is from there ISP & CELL i give them 3 -5 years

  • Max

    it didn’t affect all Canadians and the date April 21st have already passed

    Mines still working since day 1 when i signed up in Canada using my iPhone. I
    use Hotspotshield which is U.S Company VPN paid App for my iPad & IPhone
    for Streaming HBO NOW. And DNS UnblockedUS for my AppleTV

    I signed up using U.S iTunes GIFT CARD as my Method of payment

    the only email I’m getting from HBO NOW is the Newsletter

    yous guys can call them in and get your acount back the give them a U.S shipping address as your RESIDENTIAL

    a lot Reddit recommended using myMALLBOX .COM there account was save after using this

  • Jezzah

    This fiasco has finally turned me to piracy. If hbo does not want my dollars, then it’s their loss. The relevant episodes are available via torrent in HD shortly after airing, and I get to keep my cash. Win win.

  • Max

    Don’t blame HBO blame BELL they have the right all the shows in Canada they screaming to HBO to block the Canadian You call them in get YOUR account back others Canadian did it and work HBO don’t want get lawsuit from BELL that why there doing this

  • Max

    Try using U.S. Shipping address like mymallbox .com alot reddit user recommend it they give you actually address it work for them

    My HBO now account still working since I signed up haven’t got any email yet if I do get I will call them and give them my mymallbox address

  • bspence88

    If it stops working for me, I’ll just download torrents. Either way, they aren’t getting my business. I refuse to pay $80+ for TV when I have Netflix for $8 and get all my hockey games through GameCentre Live… All I want is HBO.. I don’t need every other channel.. Unless Bell starts offering $15 for HBO only, I’ll continue to download through Torrents or use VPNs.

  • TheDudeAbides

    Accurate, but frustrating. These companies are very childish.

  • David Clark

    I am sure this is not going to banned any paid VPN tool may be it is for free tools so here all Paid tools are safe to use. I got a list of VPN providers here @vpnranks