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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old June 6 2012, 10:31 PM   #1
Temis the Vorta
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Take My Money, HBO!

Love it!

See? We don't want to be pirates...but you're just charging too damn much, you greedheads!

(I'm not a pirate btw, that was a rhetorical flourish.)

But HBO has brushed off the olive branch with a tweet.

Would you be willing to pay $12 per month for Game of Thrones? I did the math on my Netflix rental and realized I'm getting it for $2.50/month (assuming one season = three months). There's cheap and then there's cheap. And then there's me.
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Old June 6 2012, 10:43 PM   #2
billcosby
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Sounds like a general lack of common cents. :P
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Old June 6 2012, 10:47 PM   #3
the G-man
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Is it possible that HBO has legal prohibitions on providing content in this manner?

Perhaps their contracts with cable companies prohibit them from bypassing the cable subscription model.

After all, a streaming service is arguably a different medium than cable TV. I could see, for example, Time Warner or Cablevision taking extreme umbrage at HBO poaching their potential subscribers by providing streaming outside of their existing (cable company partnered) subscribers.

And even if the contracts don't prohibit it, I could see HBO not wanting to risk alienating cable companies by doing it.
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Old June 6 2012, 11:30 PM   #4
LitmusDragon
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

^ I read that post in your avatar's voice.

I actually re-subbed to cable again recently, I had told myself when I cancelled it that I would buy the season sets and not pirate anything but it turned out to be too hard to resist the temptation. Too many currently airing shows that I'm invested in.
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Old June 7 2012, 12:00 AM   #5
Kirkman1987
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

This is why I don't have cable. I hate paying high rates for a handful of channels and shows I'm interested in and hundreds of channels of crap. I save money just watching netflix and getting the new episodes of the few shows I watch off amazon or zune.

On the other hand, I'm a boxing fan and it's almost impossible to follow unless you have an insane cable package. Wish HBO had their boxing PPVs available online or via an xbox app like UFC has done.
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Old June 7 2012, 01:56 AM   #6
Sci
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

billcosby wrote: View Post
Sounds like a general lack of common cents. :P
More comment cents, actually. They know that if they offer individual shows for streaming, they'll lose a lot of subscribers who only subscribe for one or two shows, and their revenue will go down.
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Old June 7 2012, 02:42 AM   #7
Harvey
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

In that case, they should be able to offer streaming services for the same price as subscriptions without losing revenue. But, they're not doing that, suggesting other factors at work (such as HBO's deal with cable companies).
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Old June 7 2012, 03:17 AM   #8
CaptainCanada
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

There was an article on this on the AV Club a week or two ago. Most likely HBO knows that the cable companies would treat announcing such a service as a declaration of war and compromise it being included in packages. It's kind of caught between short-term and long-term needs.
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Old June 7 2012, 03:03 PM   #9
{ Emilia }
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

As a European I'd already be happy with Netflix taking my money.
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Old June 7 2012, 07:08 PM   #10
TheBrew
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Copy-pasta'd from another commenting site:

You actually don't want this. Please allow me to explain.

HBO is shielded from the market by long-term contracts with major cable providers. It's remarkably stable, and can therefore take large and expensive risks with its programming. This results in fantastic shows, movies, and miniseries. Even if something bombs terribly, they have a stable source of revenue they can rely on for at least a couple years. Sure, they have to make things people can like, but on the whole they can ride out their misses.

If you take away the cable companies HBO will have to start catering to the market. The month-by-month audience will be master. Then their revenue stream isn't protected nearly as well (this is unless everybody's willing to sign on to like 3 year contracts with HBO, but I'm guessing that's not likely.) They will have to play everything more safely so they don't lose their audience. Any big miss could seriously hurt them in lost subscribers. Before you know it they're toning down language and violence to reach a "broader" audience, and investigating really extensive and probably annoying advertising schemes to boost revenue. At which point you've effectively destroyed HBO as we know and love it.

Sad truth is, you have to leave HBO protected by the mega cable companies if you want them to continue making the sophisticated, adult TV that we all love.
I think that this is a good argument against that.
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Old June 7 2012, 08:24 PM   #11
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Where there's smoke, there's fire - the existence of piracy and the willingness of people to offer some money in lieu of piracy because of what, a basic sense of fairness and honesty? strongly suggests that the problem is that HBO is not offering enough in the way of tiered pricing.

The trick is, there has to always be a trade-off, so that each tier is equally attractive to some big group of people. You can't have one tier be the obvious winner, or everyone will cancel their subscriptions and go for that.

The trade-off is money vs. time. Pay more money (HBO subscription) and you get the shows faster. Less money, you have to wait longer (which is what Netflix already offers). Put a tier or two inbetween HBO and Netflix and let everyone decide which trade-off is right for them.

All the tiers in the world won't eliminate piracy, but it will certainly eliminate the excuse that some people might raise, that HBO is not letting them hand over their money in the way they would prefer.

HBO is shielded from the market by long-term contracts with major cable providers. It's remarkably stable, and can therefore take large and expensive risks with its programming.
HBO only reaches a small % of the global population with their programming, especially if you don't count piracy. The potential revenue from this massive audience could make up for the loss of stability from those long-term contracts.

However, this argument does have a point that it would cause financial turmoil for HBO to rock the boat. I think it's short-term turmoil that is inevitable regardless because the long-term pressures on all digital entertainment will force it towards being widely available, highly convenient, and very cheap. The history of consumer adoption of technology tells the same story over and over: people use technology to get exactly what they want, and businesses that don't adapt get left in the dust.
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Old June 7 2012, 08:38 PM   #12
Wereghost
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

I think they should offer season passes for these things at prices comparable to DVD / Blu-ray prices, or even somewhat higher. Soon enough the physical media of DVD/Blu-ray discs will be redundant and replaced by online streaming anyway, so why not get in on the ground floor and sell lifetime access to the episodes as they air? Speaking for myself, I don't have a subscription service that covers Sky Atlantic, but would have paid good money to see GoT season two as it aired.
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Old June 7 2012, 09:45 PM   #13
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Vulture article has an interesting quote.

Another HBO exec, Bill Nelson, hinted the company is open to change. “Let’s assume that in ten years’ time there has been a significant shift away from multichannel subscriptions,” Nelson said in the Economist article. “In that environment, HBO may reconsider its position.”
It won't be ten years, Bill, and it may happen faster than you can react to. Just ask the music biz.

HBO should do what the military does - wargame out various scenarios so that they can recognize when things are changing fast, and have a plan for reacting swiftly.
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Old June 7 2012, 10:25 PM   #14
Professor Zoom
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Where there's smoke, there's fire - the existence of piracy and the willingness of people to offer some money in lieu of piracy because of what, a basic sense of fairness and honesty? strongly suggests that the problem is that HBO is not offering enough in the way of tiered pricing.
How much money do they lose to piracy though? They might be quite comfortable losing a little to piracy for the security of subscription. Cost of doing business.
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Old June 7 2012, 11:10 PM   #15
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Re: Take My Money, HBO!

HBO is smart. If they're saying something isn't going to work then it isn't going to work.
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