HBO announced today it has plans to launch an online-only streaming option next year, which means users will be able to subscribe without going through their cable provider, for users in the USA.
What about Canada? Don’t even think about it yet, as HBO confirmed to the CBC the service won’t be available in Canada at launch:
HBO confirmed to CBC News on Wednesday that the service will not be available in Canada when it launches in the U.S. in January.
Currently, Canadians access HBO by ordering the service through their cable provider. HBO Canada rights are exclusively held by Corus Entertainment and Bell Media, part of a deal that goes until 2018.
However, not all hope is lost yet, as HBO CEO Richard Plepler said in a statement the company plans to “explore models with new partners”:
“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.”
This move by HBO could set the stage for other companies to also try online-only streaming options, setting the stage for disruption in the way we consume cable TV, and paving the way for Apple to come in with its alleged TV plans.
For Canadians wanting to watch US content in Canada, subscribing to a VPN service such as Unblock Us or Hide My Ass, allows most to bypass geo-restrictions, and most likely will allow non-Americans to access HBO’s service when it launches next year.