I want my HBO

So I recently read that a la carte cable channel bundling isn’t gonna happen. I can’t find where I found it being debated, so I link to a google news search for the last week in this topic’s debate. And the economics make sense, sort of, for why it’s not feasible.

Here’s an idea that I think should be able to work, and it could put pressure on the major networks or cable in general, to make content to compete with HBO:

HBOnline. $9.99/month for access to streaming HBO channels and a Hulu-like resource to get at the HBO OnDemand material. You could even download to iPod/iPhone if HBO & Apple, both known for thinking differently, could get their minds right. And yes, HBOnline doesn’t make sense if you speak it out literally, it’s just a logo kind of idea. Hell, even make a less expensive paywall’d Hulu channel for HBO content! Something.

As you may know, I havn’t had cable for a few months. I think this experiment dates back to March. And depending on which channel we’re talking about, the withdrawl has been nonexistent to harsh. For Countdown and Maddow (MSNBC) it’s not that bad, as they tend to post full episode video podcasts to iTunes, FOR FREE, an hour or so after the broadcast is finished. Most everything else hits the digital ether by the next morning at the latest, which means I can set it up and have stuff ready when I get home.

HBO, and especially Real Time with Bill Maher, on the other hand, drive me up the wall. I assume the wait until the Monday after the air date (a Friday night) has some origin in the fact that even internet bootleggers need weekends off too.

Also, the use of the word bootleggers has some grounding in the fact that I’m not paying HBO for anything. Not supporting the artist, either, as Maher hasn’t done a comedy club in NYC in a long long time. HBO clearly wants nothing to do with a la carte episodes on iTunes except when DVD’s are also out, but isn’t it about time for them to shift the paradigm on the TV world again? Curb’s coming back, and aside from that, and True Blood, which I’ve gotten into, I don’t see much reason why HBO will be getting press any time soon.


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