With the on demand age has come growing frustration from TV viewers about having to order bundles of cable channels and services you don’t need in order to get the ones you want. In order to get HBO on Comcast cable, for instance, you have to order a package that includes hundreds of other channels in which you may have no interest.
But that’s about to change — Comcast has launched “Internet Plus,” a 12-month special offer that includes broadband, streaming video service StreamPix, Limited Basic TV (20 channels plus VOD) and… drumroll… HBO/HBO Go, all for a price that’s around what broadband costs these days — $39.99 or $49.99, depending on the market. As with most of these deals, the price will jump after the year is up, to $69.99 or $79.99.
The news, which initially came via an unnamed insider source at DSL Reports, later confirmed by Variety, signifies the first crack in the cable package monolith after increased demand for a la carte options and a rise in people cutting the cord entirely in favor of Netflix, Hulu, iTunes or torrenting.
This is the first time a major TV distributor has offered HBO as any option apart from a premium cable package, and certainly as part of an internet bundle that also just happens to include the most minimal TV offering — though a Comcast box is still required, and the company hopes the deal will be a way to entice customers to upgrading to a larger cable package.
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HBO has continually said that it has no intentions of offering HBO Go as a stand-alone subscription, a la Netflix, in the near future, but this deal is the closest you’ll get to what many people have said they’d want — internet service and access to HBO’s robust on demand library.