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HBO to Offer Online-Only Streaming Option in 2015, But Not in Canada

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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.

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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.

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  • Al

    Not gonna happen. The communist-based CRTC makes it too costly to conform to their Canadian content restrictions.

  • chrisjohnston10

    Really this isn’t a story of HBO possibly bringing the streaming service to Canada. Bell/Corus would be the ones that would start up the streaming service. Time Warner only licenses the trademarks and programming. They have no financial stake in HBO Canada. Canada is a small market. I highly doubt the Canadian online streaming market is worth tearing up those licensing contracts.

  • My 1/2 cents

    I am confused here on this “Online Streaming”. I thought (American) users can stream Netflix programs/movies directly from their website?

  • Kirk

    Like most Canadians the only real reason for HBO is Game of Thrones. Guess I’ll be watching it online after the fact as per usual.

  • ddsmak

    Yep, as long as the old timers in CRTC still running the show, nothing good will happen to the new generation. Those suckers should be put out to the pasture.

  • Werdner

    No app in Canada? No problem HBO, will just keep pirating your stuff if you don’t want my money!

  • Tim

    there is a service called HBO Go, but it requires a subscription from a cable or satellite provider to gain access. This service essentially drops that requirement, which is a good thing, especially for the increasing number of cord-cutters in the United States.

  • youreallyhavenoclue

    I feel their rulings have little impact on my actual day-to-day life of enjoying content from around the world despite their efforts. Hola! Better Internet chrome extension for American content (or UK, or wherever) and torrents for everything else, seems pretty simple to get whatever content you want, whenever you want, in 2014 🙂

  • Parksy

    It’s at times like this that I’m glad that I subscribe to unblock-us and have good friends in the USA who are willing to share usernames and passwords… only costs be a few beers a couple times a year when we get together.

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