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HBO: Programming Could Be Sold Directly Through Internet Providers

HBO chief Richard Plepler speaks in New York at a 2011 screening. i i

HBO chief Richard Plepler speaks in New York at a 2011 screening. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Warner hide caption

itoggle caption Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Warner
HBO chief Richard Plepler speaks in New York at a 2011 screening.

HBO chief Richard Plepler speaks in New York at a 2011 screening.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Warner

HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.

Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.

As Business Insider puts it, "HBO, unlike Netflix, relies on cable companies for distribution. It doesn't want to upset its partners by going direct to the consumer."

Customers could pay $50 a month for their broadband Internet and an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with that service, Plepler told the news agency.

"Maybe HBO GO, with our broadband partners, could evolve," Plepler says. "We would have to make the math work."

HBO Go has about 6.5 million registered users, compared with about 29 million for HBO's main service, Reuters says.

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