Seeking an April 2015 launch date that will coincide with the launch of the next season of Game of Thrones, HBO’s standalone streaming service will be made available to consumers outside of a monthly cable subscription. Hypothetically, subscribers interested in the new season of Game of Thrones will be able to catch up on old seasons as well as watch new episodes of the popular HBO action adventure drama. Of course, HBO hasn’t released any specific details on the cost of subscribing to a standalone service.
Mentioned by Fortune, HBO management also appears to be ditching an internal project that was designed to build this new standalone streaming service in-house. Instead, HBO is cutting a deal with MLB Advanced to build a service that will be able to offer smooth streaming speeds during heavy usage periods. MLB Advanced currently powers premium streaming networks in the sports realm that include MLB.com, the WWE Network, CBS Sportsline’s March Madness on Demand and WatchESPN. Up to this point, HBO has struggled with providing a stable platform for HBO GO, specifically during airings of new Game of Thrones and True Detective episodes.
After the outsourcing news broke earlier today, HBO Chief Technology Officer Otto Berkes announced his resignation from the company. Detailed within an internal memo acquired by Variety, Berkes states “Recently HBO’s management decided to partner with a third party to assist HBO in bringing our OTT service to market in 2015. This is a change in direction from what I planned with HBO and the approach will not utilize my overall capabilities. Therefore, I feel that this is the right time for me to move on from HBO so that I am able to fully pursue my passion building world-class technology teams, products and businesses.”
It’s likely that HBO will discuss a more detailed timeline of the standalone service product launch as well as details in pricing and content available on the service in the coming months. It’s also possible that announcements related to supported hardware platforms will pop up during CES 2015 next month.