HBO content isn’t coming to non-cable subscribers anytime soon

DSC_1712.jpg

HBO CTO Otto Berkes at the 2013 GeekWire Summit.

It doesn’t look like you can watch HBO without a cable subscription anytime soon.

HBO CTO Otto Berkes, our first speaker at today’s GeekWire Summit was asked about offering HBO content for those who may have a streaming device but do not pay to watch HBO via their cable network.

“We have an extremely powerful and effective business model,” Berkes said. “It would not make sense to disrupt that unless the upside were significantly higher than any potential downside.”

Berkes also talked about accessing HBO content on different devices like tablets. He added that 60 percent of HBOGo users were on mobile.

Berkes, who joined HBO last year and worked at Microsoft for 18 years as an original creator of the Xbox, wouldn’t say for sure if his company is building an app for the Xbox One, but didn’t give a clear answer.

“We want to be on the popular platforms going forward,” he said.

Berkes also touched on a new engineering and development office that HBO recently established in Seattle led by former Microsoft vets that GeekWire previously reported on. 

“It’s become a real cornerstone to our future plans,” Berkes said of the Seattle office. “We are hiring hardcore software developers who could potentially do anything.”

Stay tuned for more coverage of the GeekWire Summit throughout the day. Head here for a live stream

  • Harkonnen

    OK, so sounds as if people need to continue to download Game of Thrones since the cost of cable even before HBO is insane and mostly filled with low-quality content.

  • Guest

    “It would not make sense to disrupt that unless the upside were significantly higher than any potential downside.”

    oh, you mean like the only reason I still keep Comcast is for HBO? Imagine not giving Comcast a cut of the money I spend to watch HBO, sounds like an upside to me. *cough* Chromecast *cough*

  • Guest

    HBO’s priorities:

    1. Partners (cable and satellite companies)
    2. Customers (me)

    A good company’s priorities:

    1. Customers
    2. Intermediaries

    You’re losing my money, HBO. Every month you refuse to let me pay for your content just because I lack a cable or satellite TV subscription, you’re scooping a small clump of dirt out of the earth to make room for your grave.

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    Incredibly bad move. Everyone I know either doesn’t have cable or is working to cut the cord as much as possible as soon as possible.

    I think cable companies are liked more than Congress, but that’s about it. By associating exclusively with them they’re cutting themselves off from leading edge/early adopter customers and damaging their brand by being closely associated with cable companies and having the ill will everyone has towards them rub off on HBO.

  • Me Ted

    Yaaaaaawnnnnnnnn. I’ll just keep on Project Free TV’ing I guess. Get back to me when you’re ready to smarten up HBO.