HBO, the content provider that has said many times that it has no interest in offering HBO Go as a standalone service, will now offer its content through a standalone streaming service. Don't get too excited: This isn't happening here in the good ole U.S.A but rather in Norway, Finland and Denmark. Sigh. As Variety's Andrew Wallenstein reports, starting in mid-October for something around 10 Euros a month, Scandinavians can pay for just HBONordic.com, without a cable subscription.
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Yes, the dream is real! But, like we said: Stop dreaming. This in no way means that HBO will give American viewers this option, which many people want. "Each market is unique and HBO approaches each one with what we consider to believe the best business model specific to that territory," an HBO spokesman told Wallenstein, who explains that the Scandinavia isn't like America. "Scandinavia is a market where HBO doesn't have to protect an entrenched business model as lucrative as the one in the U.S., where a standalone product would jeopardize its deals with distributors from Comcast to DirecTV," he writes. We'll say it again: Le sigh.
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This bit of news, as irrelevant to our lives as it is, provides some vindication, however. HBO has said before that the reason they don't offer HBO Go for a fee without cable is that people don't want it. Oh, really? Then why are you offering it over there? Never mind that we've shown that at least some people stateside that do, this move proves that the only reason HBO hasn't given customers a standalone streaming service is that it doesn't want to because it's scared of losing money.