HBO wants to be your streaming service of choice, and is poised to offer their content free of a cable subscription. We’d previously heard the move was in the works, but a new report details when we might see it, and the pains associated with getting it up and running. By the time you’re tuning everyone else out to watch Game of Thrones, HBO GO might be available without the need to work with your cable company. HBO is also changing their back-end tech to support the new streaming.
To better support the incoming streaming service, HBO is going with MLB Advanced, which handles streaming sports for a variety of entities. The reason for using MLB is HBO’s CTO, who has left the company.
Otto Berkes built HBO’s Seattle-based streaming service, but has been accused of a “Napoleonic” management style. He was also doubted internally, with management concerned he couldn’t “pull off” streaming.
The various outages from HBO GO throughout the year, reportedly due to a memory leak Berkes knew about but considered a non-issue, were cited as the reason for doubting a standalone streaming service.
One source says the lack of updates for HBO GO over the past two years also shows Berkes “hasn’t really done anything”.
The standalone HBO streaming launch will reportedly coincide with the new season of Game of Thrones, which starts in April. HBO has reportedly shuttered their internal streaming initiative, called Maui, to make way for MLB to handle their streaming needs.
It’s not yet clear if HBO GO will remain as-is with HBO outsourcing the heavy lifting, or if GO is going away. For now, cord cutters should probably just rejoice that Game of Thrones is coming, however HBO decides to do it.