HBO Boss Says No To Stream Only Service

The boss of HBO as poured cold water on a single digital delivery streaming option for the HBO Go service, maintaining that cord cutting is just a temporary phenomenon that will magically disappear when the economy improves

HBO like streaming, but only for cable subscribers

HBO co-president Eric Kessler talking at the VideoshmoozeNYC event yesterday said, “there is no chance his company will make its original programs like True Blood or The Wire available to non-cable subscribers.”

Currently HBO subscribers can use the HBO Go service to stream programming around the house, but the company obviously do not want a streaming only option a’la Netflix or Hulu Plus, or even allow those companies to license content.

As to the reason why they do not want to join the 21st century? Well, HBO believes that streaming only services such as Netflix and Hulu are in competition with HBO for the paying TV customers. So it seems that streaming as a complimentary service is ok, but streaming only is a big no-no.

Kessler dismissed cord cutting as a blip, saying it is a “temporary phenomenon” that will end when the economy improves.

A streaming only HBO could be a costly affair for the company if some of their 30 million plus subscribers decided to go for a cheaper streaming only option. Many already make use of the HBO Go app, and a cheaper streaming service could hit the turnover pretty badly.

Many would accuse Kessler of burying his head in the sand. If he really thinks that customers wanting the option to watch streaming content only for a cheaper price is a ‘blip’, he may find cord cutting increasing amongst his subscribers.

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97 Comments

  1. R Partin
    R Partin January 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hate to break Kessler’s bubble, but ‘cord cutting’ is not a temporary blip for me. I have discovered many ways to watch TV w/o paying the bill for cable or satellite and all completely legal. HBO and others are losing out on potential money if they never make the streaming only option available. You snooze, you loose!

  2. myles
    myles January 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    i don’t see why not stream. I’m willing to pay the same price as cable subscribers, and watch all the commercials. It just seems unfair that because of my job (I travel A LOT) that I should have to miss my favorite shows. I refuse to watch them illegally, and it sucks that I have to wait til they come on DVD.

  3. bilbo
    bilbo February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    “A streaming only HBO could be a costly affair for the company if some of their 30 million plus subscribers decided to go for a cheaper streaming only option.”

    So don’t make it cheaper. What if I don’t want worthless cable or dish, but want HBO for the same amount of money they get from cable/dish subscribing customers? Kessler is an idiot.

  4. cj
    cj February 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    This is likely one of the stupidest decisions the company has ever made. The guy needs to step down and make room for new blood. A sub for HBO streaming is likely the only pay sub for such content I would consider.

    Here’s a clue Kessler, we just love paying for tons of garbage video via cable so we can sift though it and find a few things we like. That was sarcasm.

  5. chrysea
    chrysea February 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I don’t seem to understand how streaming would cost the company to lose money. If they offered the service for approxmiately the same price as they offer the channel through cable companies I know a lot of people who would sign up. I think it would help prevent the company from losing out on revenue from a lot of the people who pirate the material because they have no other way to view it.

  6. Lou
    Lou February 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Seriously, that’s the best explanation he can give? “Just a blip”??? I can say that I stand solid on my decision to cut the chord about a year ago and I have hopes that the channel offerings will only get better. Providing a stream only service would only sweeten the deal…and yes, I would pay full price, too. So, let’s go buddy, wake up!

  7. Wow
    Wow February 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Wow. I am shocked they would actually make that statement. Offering the HBO go at a lower price would almost definitely increase their revenue, not decrease. There is no way I am adding HBO to my cable because of both the price of cable and the price of HBO, however if they added a Go only option for 8/month I would happily subscribe. They are right that they may have a few people drop off the cable HBO subscription list but the amount of streaming subscribers they would get would easily overcome that.

    Time to get a new “boss” in there.

  8. James
    James February 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    http://thepiratebay.se

    or waiting until the content comes out on DVD, then buying it second-hand, so as to not support them.

    HBO Go should be its own service, at least for a trial. I’d gladly pay $10/month to watch the few shows that I like on HBO. I am not going to go back to TV for you HBO, sorry.

  9. Ross Martin
    Ross Martin February 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I cut the cord 5 years ago (prior to the bad economy) and will not be going back. I currently have Netflix and would gladly pay the HBO cable subscriber rate and sit through commercials to watch HBO programming. Oh well, I guess I am just a casualty of the blip.

  10. Jeriin
    Jeriin February 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Like most everyone has voiced, then don’t make your streaming service cheaper. I would most definitely pay more per year then I would too attach it to a crappy TV service. This streaming “cord-cutting” has nothing to do with economy. That is the most ignorant thing I have heard someone in a technology/entertainment business ever say. It is called the advancement of internet technologies. People who are becoming more comfortable with smart services are going to realize they can purchase just shows or just series they want to watch without having to pay for 160+ channels for +$100 a month. Saving money and convenience is always the tip/top of a consumers mind and as things become cheaper and more convenient we are all going to feed into it. As this happens it will also increase this type of streaming medias demand which means you can increase the cost down the line. In closing. My question is, Are you entertainment business owners really this near sighted?

  11. pedorro
    pedorro March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    what a dumb-ass. i think he’s really just scared of pissing off comcast.

  12. H
    H March 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I heartily agree that I would happily pay a high price for a streaming HBO service. I have never in all my years even owned a TV– computer/internet only and forever– so I represent an untapped consumer population. I’ve actually been looking for a streaming HBO option for easily five years, and it’s a serious bummer that this has been vetoed by the bossman. I guess I’ll just continue pirating my favorite shows.

  13. no cable
    no cable March 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    The problem I see right now with cutting the cord is that our internet providers are the ones that also supply subscription tv. Cutting the cord requires larger internet usage so Cable and FIOS providers will just further limit our internet usage if they see us moving toward streaming. All of these “fat cats” (including HBO boss) that are on each others payrolls will find a way to supress progress because it cuts into their mutual profit. This is exactly why we need to continue the fight to maintain net neutrality. If we don’t then your cable/internet provider will just limit the amount of streaming you can do or block it altogether.

  14. zerocool
    zerocool March 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    HA! you sir, will be missing OUT. I believe Blockbuster made a similar statement towards online movie rentals and streaming. EVOLVE OR DIE. i would pay for an HBO stream only, but will never pay for a cable service. People cutting off services like expensive cable packages, and the improvement of our economy will go hand in hand.

  15. Alex
    Alex March 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Shows how out of touch he is with what’s going on out here in the real world… Give it a year, he’ll come around

  16. Mike B
    Mike B March 15, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I already cut the cord sucks for hbo my cable company charges way to much I haven’t had cable tv for 10 years I do plan to watch some of the hbo series when they are released on iTunes though if hbo had a streaming service I could get without paying for cable i would pay for it. I have no need for cable tv my mac has eye tv which has a dvr function which works better then my friends cable box that constantly crashes because its a cheaply built computer also eyetv doesn’t cost 12.95 a month for dvr service on top of the 75.00 people pay for cable tv around me .

  17. Andrew
    Andrew March 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    So… cutting out the middleman would mean less revenue? WTF? I’d subscribe to HBO and give them the whole thing and there’d be no middleman… This guy is a moron. He reminds me of all of these old men, rock and roll is just a fad, you kids need to get a hair cut. What a dumbass.

  18. Jay
    Jay March 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I think it is retarded that I should have to pay the BS charges of some provider for a ‘package’ and typically the lowest price ‘package’ does NOT make you eligible to add HBO so you must shell out for a more expensive package. But wait, want it in HD? then buy yet another package with ‘some’ HD channels and etc….when it is all said and done you pay over $100/mo for hundreds of rubbish channels when all you ever wanted was HBO.
    This is just a way to let the providers gouge you and I am really sick of it!

  19. Ray
    Ray March 22, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I recently dropped Direct TV and replaced it with Hulu Plus, Netflix, and an HD Antenna. I’m saving about $100 a month, and the only thing I miss is HBO. On my Direct TV plan HBO was an extra $15 a month. I’m not willing to go back to sat. TV or cable just for HBO, but I would totally subscribe to an HBO streaming service.

    I can’t believe Kessler is an executive at HBO an he thinks streaming only service choice is a phase. It’s only a matter of time before HBO will realize their error and be forced by the market to accept reality.

  20. Ryan
    Ryan March 28, 2012 at 12:37 am

    All I can say is that I would pay the exact same price for their service if I didn’t have to subscribe to cable on top of that, and that seems like money strictly out of hbo’s pocket that I would otherwise gladly give them.

    Seems like a dumb move on their part!

  21. DIS NUTZ
    DIS NUTZ March 28, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Kessler you wait to make a profit and bring in customer at the same time not scary them away… No worry!!!!!! I still have my Netfilx and Hulu Plus on my Xbox 360 Console… I pull the CORD 3 Years ago on companys like Comcast, Direct TV and U Verese and thats just to name a few are being drop because the people cant afford it anymore… So i give you about 6 Months from now to see if this was a (GREAT IDEA STUPID!!!!!)

  22. hartigas
    hartigas March 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Much of the revenue for HBO must come from Cable companies themselves and then their customers monthly subscription. Its the only sensible thing I could think off.

  23. T.C.M.
    T.C.M. March 29, 2012 at 2:07 am

    I have never had cable in my entire life and never plan to because it is too expensive given that there are only one or two shows I’d actually watch. HBO has great shows, though, and I would gladly be their direct customer if I were able to subscribe to a streaming service for $10 or $15 a month. They’re losing me (and many others like me) as customers by NOT supporting streaming. I doubt they would lose enough customers to make a difference since most people who have cable have it because they do watch more than just one channel or just one show. Non-subscribers like me would gladly become their customers if given a new option. This is a stupid and disappointing decision on their part.

  24. W.A.C.
    W.A.C. March 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I had cable for many years until it go so outrageous that its impossible to want to pay a hundred bucks a month just so that I can watch HBO. I do not watch commercially sponsored tv and only bought the initial cable package because to receive premium channels such as HBO you must have the basic cable first then it was fifteen a month to add channels such as HBO. I now have netflix and its not an economical issue its an issue of intelligence. The math is simple, roughly ten bucks a month for all tvs or over a hundred. Why is it that the CEO of HBO would not see it feasible to offer HBO go for the fifteen a month I would pay the cable company or even twenty. As someone else said it would increase their revenue greatly. Where at this point they are standing to lose some customers. Is it he failed math class, he’s an idiot or simply not willing to accept like many that cable providers and there overpriced channels are the remnants of an era that is about to fade into history like so many other things as well as their incredibly large profit margins. Thank you Netflix, Hulu, FIOS and those others who seek to provide streaming Tv for all of us at a much lower price than Cable and DTV. Streaming is the future get used to it.

  25. Tom C
    Tom C March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Wow… what a stupid, shortsighted decision on HBO’s part. I was LITERALLY about to sign up for HBO — I was trying to figure out how to sign up without being a cable subscriber, and googling led me here.

    Cord-cutting isn’t going away, and decisions like this are going to kneecap content providers.

    But, their funeral, I guess. I’ll just have to wait for Game of Thrones to come out on Netflix or Hulu…

  26. IR Polk
    IR Polk March 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    HBO can’t. HBO is smart. Believe me, they want our money. They simply can not sell access to non-cable subscribers because of the deals in place with cable providers. I’ve been waiting and wishing that those deals will change so that HBO can open up and sell, as everyone here wants, access to a single HBO program like Game of Thrones, or True Blood. Hell, I think we would all pay 15 bucks a season for one of those shows. Come on HBO, some of us live on the go and / or just don’t want to deal with cable companies.

  27. J Lancelot
    J Lancelot April 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Gotta get with the times HBO! This is much like the music industry for years resisting that downloading music is the future.
    In my area, Time Warner has just about a complete monopoly on cable service, and they use it. I finally ditched them after years of random bill increases with no explanation, “free” services that aren’t really free, and a “what are you gonna do about it attitude”. Streaming is the future, it will eventually brake the back of the giant cable companies.

  28. Fluxlite
    Fluxlite April 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I too wanted to purchase an HBO streaming account and would be willing to pay MORE then the cable or satellite services charge for HBO. And these moronic CEO’s wonder why there is so much piracy?

  29. G MIchel
    G MIchel April 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Like so many others here, I guarantee that my cord cut to cable television is permanent. HBO should at least tell their network service providers to allow internet only subscriptions to HBO Go. Some revenue is better than none.

  30. Danhra
    Danhra April 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I don’t understand what the problem is…. people who use the internet for watching shows can access any of the HBO shows online for free on various websites at no profit to HBO. People calling for a HBO streaming account want to do so in order to support HBO. I personally refuse to get cable because I wont spend my hard earned money on trash and reality BS, but I would gladly spend the $15 HBO sub fee to only get HBO because I want to support the channel and the creative products it produces :( I just can’t understand why they do not see this.

  31. Danhra
    Danhra April 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

    After reading some of the comments I would have to agree that HBO must have some sort of paid agreement with cable companies or something, because that would be the only reason that makes sense for them to refuse to set up a streaming only subscription. You can’t even purchase Game of Thrones individual episodes on itunes as they come out (you have to wait for the dvd release), so a deal with the cable companies is the only thing that makes sense. I want to add though that it must be a pretty darn good deal to pass up the revenue they could be making from streaming. If this is the case I wish they would just come out and say it though so people can understand it might be a smart business move rather than a retarded one haha.

  32. Chris
    Chris April 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I do have HBO Go… and it is awesome and would LOVE to have it without the other 200+ channels I never watch. That being said, I did notice over the weekend that a few new “sign up” providers appeared to be added over this last weekend (or at least, I just noticed them).

    They are:
    HBO Employee / Guest
    Other

    I’m not saying that they may be moving down this path… but I’d definitely think that they employees can get it without cable… and who knows what this “Other” means.

  33. john
    john April 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    kessler has the music industry mentality a la the rise of napster.

  34. Bob
    Bob April 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    There won’t be streaming HBO any time soon for non cable customers. HBO currently gets paid per cable subscriber not per HBO subscriber. That deal makes them far more money than they would get as a percentage of HBO subscriptions. $2-3 for every cable subscriber is a lot more than $10 for every HBO subscriber. That model ensures that HBO has a more stable cash flow and creates the environment were every cable carries has to have the HBO channels. If they encourage cord cutting then they are cutting their own throat. So if you follow that then you realize that the boss man’s quote is really a matter of desperate wishful thinking, cord cutting will sink their cash cow and the lesser streaming revenues would force them to cut their operation in half.

  35. Eric G
    Eric G April 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I had a promotional bundle from cable, which just ended and my bill jumped 40%. When I called and threatened to cancel they said I could switch to another promotion, which included even more garbage channels plus Starz (but no HBO). I have had cable for the sole reason of watching HBO. I keep asking cable company to just give me HBO without other garbage, but it is never “possible”. I put in in quotes, because there is no technical reason it can not be done. So, I am cancelling. Kessler is a fool to hitch his wagon to cable delivery channel. I will find another way to catch up on my favorite HBO shows without stupid cable bundles.

  36. Adam D
    Adam D April 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I do not know what hbo receives in payment from TV providers for giving access to its content on the hbo channels, even if it is more than tv providers charge for access to the hbo channels I am sure that would-be subscribers that want access to hbo content through hbogo would gladly make up the difference. If hbo is receiving $25 per customer from tv providers for its subscribers to hbo and the tv providers are only charging $15.99 to hbo subscribers i and many others would be glad to make up the 9.01 difference in this supposed hypothetical. I am no fool and would not forget that hbo would be missing out on much desired advertisement to its viewers without tv providers, because hbogo does not advertise between shows. I would say put the advertisements in there if necessary. I for one can sit through 3 or 4 advertisements in a 1 hour show. Not to mention that online advertisements can be made mandatory in the way a video is structured, a much more effective way of advertising so people will see it. The advertising on the hbo channels can skipped with a dvr or getting up in-between shows. I think hbo needs to thinks how it sees itself. HBO is not a tv provider but a content provider. HBO really needs to see tv providers as competition. If HBO offered a $15-$25 subscription option to those who wanted view their content through hbogo with limited commercials it would be major competition to tv providers. With a power house combination of subscriptions to HBOGO, Netflix, and Hulu one wouldn’t even need a tv provider. Add in an over-the-air HD antenna and other free online streaming services like crackle, to the above mentioned, and satellite and cable provides would have to be more competitive with their pricing options. HBO could really give a huge jump to the online streaming revolution against traditional tv provider services. Think about it HBO do you want to be the ringer for the online streaming revolution or do you want to be the one that keeps tv providers, like dish and comcast, semi-relavent. Either way there will always be people who want to view your content but don’t want to pay a minimum of $45 for the most basic tv provider package and an hbo subscription.

  37. Jennifer
    Jennifer April 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I cut the cord months ago and am not going back. My kids are not flamed with ads for crap they don’t need and consequently are much better to take to the store. I find with Netflix, Amazon Prime and the internet I have all of the media I want, except HBO. I am watching Game of Thrones via netflix discs right now. People are evolving beyond broadcast media. I understand the industry (just like newspapers) is having an extremely difficult time coping with this shift but they will have to come up with a new business model.

    If I can wait a week and the off seasons to get the next episode of the show I want to watch it isn’t more difficult to wait for the entire season to come out on disc or streaming.

    Truthfully, I would like to support directly those companies that produce high quality programming like HBO but I will not jump through hoops to be their customer.

  38. Anon
    Anon April 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Read between the lines. He’s a network executive so when his lips are moving he’s lying.

    The ‘excuse’ you heard is just that. Fact is that HBO is deep in bed with cable companies and offering a stream-only version would be like stabbing the cable companies in the back (from the cable monopolies perspective.) However, he can’t say that, right? So, the best thing he could invent (and you now know why he is NOT a writer) is that ‘it’s just a blip.’

    Puh-leeze. Cable companies know that their ass is in the grinder. They paid me $200 to sign a 2-year deal (Cox, Las Vegas) just to NOT leave. Their days are numbered and they all know it. Postponing the inevitable is their only play left.

  39. Eric
    Eric April 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    These old world entertainment execs are completely delusional. Sure buddy, the digital revolution is a blip. So Kessler – you still go out to buy rolls of film for your camera? You still rocking the Betamax? Pull your head out of the sand or wherever it is. Blockbuster was talkin the same crap years ago and now that they’re a bankrupt failure and owned by Dish, it turns out they were the blip. Cord cutting is inevitable and the companies that get it will get onboard and get ahead of the trend.

  40. Jewel
    Jewel April 6, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I think Mr. Kessler is making a huge mistake and missing out on additional revenue for his company and a new customer base. I no longer have cable or satellite television in my home. I realized that I did not have enough time to watch TV to make it worth the expense.

    I rely entirely on streaming media services (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube or file downloads to watch my favorite shows. I saw that HBO Go was now available on the xbox 360 and wondered where I could sign up for the service and found this article. I really hope Mr Kessler rethinks this poor decision and realizes streaming media is the future of television programming. I know many people think the same way I do about cable/satellite TV and streaming media.

    I would like to support HBO programming, but I do not want to subscribe to cable/satellite TV to do it. I guess I’ll have to turn to the TV programming pirates until stupid brain dead TV executives like Mr Kessler get a clue.

  41. Lynn
    Lynn April 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I want to pay for Game of Thrones, and possibly other HBO shows, but since I live in a place where cable isn’t available, I can’t. I know I’m not alone. This is a really foolish decision from HBO.

  42. Mike
    Mike April 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

    HBO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc.
    Time Warner is not in the business of reducing cable subscribers.
    They would be shooting themselves in the foot.

    Ergo, we are totally frocked.
    No amount of griping will change this, unfortunately.

  43. SF
    SF April 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    So… Kessler is expecting that the economy will pick up soon and this cable cut bimp will be gone? I wonder how he sold such a blindly optimistic idea to his board…

  44. Jeff
    Jeff April 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    First of all, HBO is owned by Time Warner Inc not Time Warner Cable, they broke apart years ago, and are not allowed to colude with each other :/ Also I am pretty sure HBO gets paid per HBO subscriber not Cable Subscribers, but the deal is that if they were to offer a streaming service, they would be breaking lots of contracts they have with cable companies, and would then be sued and lose lots of money. The contracts might change next time those get negociated, but right now it would not be profitable for HBO to drop cable companies, allot of people that subscribe to HBO are not lik the people here they do not want it on the PC or Ipad, they might watch it in XBOX if someone else sets it up for them, but most people just subscribe to cable because they do not know of any other way, they are not tech savy enough to really want to switch yet. NOW there will be a time when that all changes, things change, but it takes while for millions to change there mentality enough where HBO would tell cable companies to go *%#%$ theselves because they would make more money dropping cable subscribers all together. If HBO did a streaming service today, anyway, you would first see lawsuites, then cable companies would immediantly want to pay much less per cable sub, since they would argue that the streaming service reduces the value they receive for the service themselves. They are paying for the exclusive rights to broadcasts in areas etc, etc, etc. I know that sucks for most of you, and I can relate, but thats the way it is, the world we currently live in.

  45. sam
    sam April 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    @Jeff your comment was well constructed; however, it lacked detail research or reference.

    First off, take a look at Starz. If you subscribe to Netflix you can stream starz for free. Sure everything is delayed 90 days but you can still watch it via a streaming service WITHOUT a cable subscription. Hell, its even cheaper than just adding Starz to a cable account.

    I cut the cord so to speak a long time ago. This hasn’t stopped me from watching all my favorite shows.

    -Sam

  46. Jay
    Jay April 19, 2012 at 5:34 am

    The fact that he’s adressing this in an interview shows that it is on the table and I’m optimistic that it will happen. Just hope it doesn’t take too long.

  47. guest
    guest April 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    @sam the netflix deal with Starz expired a few months ago (Starz backed out last December). Starz is now only available to cable subscribers (like HBO).

  48. MG
    MG April 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    The sad thing about TV companies (at least here in Canada) is that they package channels into ‘bundles’, making sure they put at least one key channel that would be of interest to a certain type of people amidst other channels that are not related. This is no doubt to ‘encourage’ people to buy more bundles than they need only to get the handful of channels they really want. That’s the main reason I’m not on cable.

    I don’t believe in piracy, so I choose to simply forgo consuming certain content (not legally available for streaming) all together. Not because I’m not interested in that content, but because it’s not available through the platform I use.

    Like others, I’d be more than happy to pay quality content providers (like HBO) whatever they deem right to charge for their content as a direct subscription– but I simply refuse to go through a cable provider and be forced to buy a ‘bundle’ full of other crap.

    I’m sure I’m not alone. So it would seem that, while perhaps protecting their grip on a certain share of the market, HBO (and others of a similar outlook) are actually missing another, steadily growing, chunk of the market.

    I think the internet is destined to rearrange distributorship altogether. Time is the only factor. It can actually empower content creators like HBO to cut out the middleman (the cable companies) and reach their audience directly, all over the world.

    It will take time for the old distributorship model to be reconfigured, but it’s bound to happen. To me, the future is content creators selling their content directly to consumers, and early adopters will have a leg over the competition.

    I’m sure there were those who thought a decade ago that digital would only be a fading fad (Kodak anyone?), and look at them now.

    Just my 2 cents.

  49. erin
    erin April 22, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I for one think that it would increase their profit. I don’t want to pay $60+ a month for cable and then pay additionally for HBO, however, if there was an online subscription to HBO I would definitely purchase. It would make HBO more affordable to those who just want that network and do not care about the other 100 channels of infomercials on a cable plan.

  50. streammer
    streammer April 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Obviously that statement was made in deference to the dying cable industry. No executive is that ignorant, but HBO needs to choose its allegiance: the 1990s or the 21st century.

    I’m exactly the demographic they’re missing. I don’t want to own a TV (I like the painting on my wall better). I have no interest in anything on basic cable. I would love to watch HBO programming because it’s quality. I’d pay for an HBO Go subscription on its own just like Netflix and Hulu let me watch what I want when and on what device I want to watch it. That’s the future. I hope HBO gets on board before it’s too late.

  51. Eyag
    Eyag April 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    HBO is so ahead of the game in it’s programing – why are they so behind the times on how we want it available to us? I travel so much and watch most of my TV through streaming. Come on HBO – I’ll pay you the same amount to stream as what I would pay a cable company for your service so I can see my GAME OF THRONES. You aren’t doing your homework.

  52. Lynette
    Lynette April 25, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I agree, that HBO is burying their heads in the sand when they subscribe to the notion that cord cutting is temporary. It isn’t about pairing down services to save money. It is all about quality choices. It is about individuality. I may choose to watch only movies and a few choice TV shows, while someone else wants to watch sports and news. We want to pay for only what we want to watch. Why subscribe to bulky cable packages that include content that you are not interested in watching. MLB.com has figured this out and is streaming their content (for a price). I’m sure that many sports fans are happy and are willing to pay for this service. Just as I am happy with and pay for Netfilx and Hulu. HBO has quality programming that I am willing to pay for. Take a look at the future Eric Kessler. If you see HBO only selling to third party resellers such as Comcast five years from now, you are certainly out of touch with one of the many options your customer base would like to see from HBO.

  53. Brian
    Brian April 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I haven’t had cable TV for almost 12 years as i strongly disagree with their practices. Today I thought that I’d check in with HBO and see if they had caught up with the trend in streaming content as I am very interested in a few of their programs and recall their commercial free and high quality nature. Seems they don’t want my money though. And here I was, prepared to pay full price for a years subscription too.
    Maybe I’ll check back in another decade when this idiot gives up his position in the company…

  54. AreYouKiddingMe
    AreYouKiddingMe April 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Unbelievable! Streaming only service is the future and in high demand.Paid cable/dish/directv is going the way of the dodo. People are tired of expensive tv/movie programming. People are tired of paying for a service that is overwhelmed with commercials and infomercials. Like beta max to vhs to dvd to hddvd to bluray to streaming. People desire low cost flat rate minimal to no commercial streaming on demand. Even the streaming pay per episode/movie will faze out. Its time! world wide streaming same day release. The only provider with one leg up is directv hd content, other providers like cable/dish cant compete. Theaters either have to step up the quality and or provide streaming on release. Cable/dish/directv/theaters have gotten out of control with inflated pricing like housing which is ridiculous. Its time for these services to adjust and change their tune or fall to the wayside. The only market there companies will have is those who don’t internet access and those are typically poverty stricken areas which really cant afford the services and the accounts are temporary even at that. Its time tv/movie providers should aim towards internet bandwidth upgrades and provide streaming services at affordable prices to rake in every house hold wealthy or poor. Think of the future see the problems and provide a viable solution that expands to every customer possible, revenues and or quarterly earning would surpass the current fading status. Streaming only option is the transition point.

  55. Mike
    Mike May 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

    1st cutting cable in times of hardship (I don’t believe it’s that prevalent) you are running the risk of people realizing that they don’t miss it. That’s why the nfl will always have free programming on Sundays because, if you have to pay for it through cable or there nfl ticket people may start to realize they don’t need to watch football on Sundays and find themselves busy with other things eventually. This topic is proven within the nfl.. So he doesn’t know what he is talking about. 2nd as the market shifts towards streaming, (we are the minority here by far!) people will find out that they don’t need cable or a provider. We are in the beginning still, soon you will have a program that plays what you like based on your preferences so it will simulate channel surfing. It’s not far off.. Hbo will stream a la cart eventually it will have to. Wouldn’t be surprised if Hulu or another similar company started making there own shows like hbo does. I think we are at the peak for technology and young people, I didn’t have a cell phone till after high school now babys are playing with iPads do really think when they go off to college they will have a dish on there roof, or here a knock on the door and someone saying CABLE GUY!!!

  56. pirateslife4me
    pirateslife4me May 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I already am forced to pay for basic cable just so I can have hi-speed cable internet. Today I added HBO ($17 plus required $10/month dvr rental)only so I would be eligible for HBO Go only to find CableOne doesn’t have an agreement with HBO to offer HBO Go. It took about fifteen minutes messing with the dvr channel guide and the extra 150 channels i don’t want to decide to take back the dvr and cancel HBO. This caveman at HBO, Kessler, is blind to the growing population who refuse to play the dvr game and the bundle scams of the media companies. I never watch TV (except local weather in a storm). Why surf thru hundreds of channels when i can go online point-click and be watching what I want instantly? Kessler, sell us what we are asking for. I would happily pay $20/month for HBO streaming-only. But since Kessler would rather force me to jump thru hoops and purchase extra things I don’t want from companies I don’t like, rather than let me buy the specific product I actually want, I’ll just stick with free downloads. gg HBO

  57. sara
    sara May 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    We haven’t had cable for 14 years. Before streaming things online was really even an option. When streaming became widely available it was just a bonuse to us. We found that most of what was offered on cable television was of no interest to us so why pay when we could choose what to watch via streaming? That being said, Showtime, HBO and others offer some really great shows that I would subscribe to if given the opportunity. There are so many on HBO that I would certainly pay the full price of the cable subscription to stream. What an idiot. People like us cut the cord and found you really can get by without all of the extraneous money wasting crap on cable and won’t be going back but we are spending our money on streaming services. Get with it HBO!

  58. Bill
    Bill May 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I cut the cord on cable TV seven months ago, and think I have turned the tube on twice since, for local weather warnings. I get more content, the content I want, when I want, how I want. Good luck to HBO with an attitude like that. Kessler makes it sound like customers are beating his door down, and he can afford to flip them off. Customers will not be the ones being flipped off. It’s not like HBO doesn’t run the same show a hundred times each month….

  59. Bill
    Bill May 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    And one more thing… Going forward, I refuse to pay providers to waste my time advertising to me. I’ll pay for shows, but not if they include ads.

  60. Dani
    Dani May 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I’m paying $40 a month for HBO right now. Every time I try to drop AT&T Uverse they offer me free HBO for a few months. I love my Roku and I can wait an extra day for most of my shows to come out on Hulu. I love Netflix, as well. Discovered Eureka and Firefly on there, which kept us entertained for a few weeks when nothing was happening on cable. Now we never use the cable box, except for “Game of Thrones”. Next month, we’ll use it for “True Blood”. This is a really stupid, sucky move on their part. I’d pay $30 a month for HBO Go without cable. I hate cable and satellite. I hate the 10-15 commercial breaks that pop up every 2 minutes (it seems like), I hate shows being interrupted for weather updates and unimportant news broadcasts (like when the Dallas Mavericks arrived back in Dallas… they interrupted whatever show we were watching for about 40 minutes to show us them getting off their private jet-_-). So many channels are just full of reality shows. Speaking of which, I don’t want to pay for the hundreds of channels I don’t use (neither I nor my husband watch sports or news, and I don’t speak Spanish). I used to love BBC (until they stopped showing the Inbetweeners and Fly with Me) and paid a lot extra to get that channel, since it’s not included in any of their lower priced packages. After True Blood, I’m going to cut the HBO cord, whether or not AT&T offers me another 3 months of free HBO. Showtime would be nice, too. I swear I’m not a tv addict, there are just a few shows that I love, most of them on HBO and Showtime.

    P.S. The economy improving won’t drag most of us back to cable. How much do you want to bet all the cable companies increase their prices when the economy is back on track? And I think this economy has made many of us smarter about how we spend our money. When I graduate and get promoted, I will by no means be spending my extra salary on cable. Lol at you, Kessler. Another problem I have is the fact that non-reality shows keep getting canceled. I don’t feel loyal to any channel because of this. I’m just waiting for them to announce they’re canceling “Grimm” to make room for another Kardashian show. :o

    Netflix and Hulu do make their own shows (Lilyhammer (awesome show!) and Battleground are a couple of examples), for the person that mentioned it.

  61. andy
    andy May 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    This bozo will be out of a job, toute suite! HBO is in the same bed with time warner, comcast, cablevision,etc…. No wonder that this ex-vp had to protect the cable companies. Viva la tech revolution! Sincerely, the people

  62. Jenn
    Jenn May 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Chord cutting a blip?! Krazy Kessler needs to katch a klue. I don’t want cable and will NEVER again pay for such a useless service. It’s only good if you’re a sports fan. And for any TV/cable/satellite execs out there reading this, I’m not going to PAY to watch your commercials. If the content is free (and good), then I’ll watch your advertisements but I find it appalling that people pay over $100 a month for cable/sat service (or even some streaming services) when 25-30% of their viewing time is advertising. That is one thing that I’ll say for HBO, Showtime, etc… they don’t force me to watch obnoxious commercials during their programs. At least they have that going for them. CUT THE CHORD, I’LL PAY UP!!!

  63. Denny
    Denny May 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I haven’t had sucker cable for 5 years and plan to NEVER get cable. The box from Wallymart gives me most of the programs I watch. I dislike about 99 percent of the useless and poorly done cable shows.

    I get all my news from going to actual sites and streaming their videos and blogs and I get live updates from about 10 varied worldwide news sources to my e-mail as it is posted.

    Most of the stuff I want that is not on the box I get on stream or if not then on DVD. I object to paying 60 plus bucks a month for a lot of shows and sports I never plan to watch EVER. For me cable is a bad programming option and way too expensive and a bad bargain. I think HBO is dreaming if they think sucker cable is a long term idea. BTW sucker cable is called that due to the huge amount of shows no one watches except a tiny number of people. Suckers buy cable…also the Mainstream news on the networks is too mendacious and unreliable as they try to spin or cut up every story to fit their agendas.

    I pick and choose my programming including select HBO shows which I either DVD or stream. If HBO stops all streaming and DVDs then they can go suck eggs.

  64. AustinT
    AustinT May 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Nothing new here in that I won’t be going back to cable/satellite ever. I have saved over 1600 bucks since cutting the cable a year and a half ago. I, like others, use Netflix, Huluplus and an HD antenna. Most shows air on the broadcaster website. Others like HBO shows I just wait until they are on video, rent from a local store for two bucks and watch a season in a weekend. You are losing lots of money that way, HBO.

    I too would pay a monthly fee. See, what I and others figured out is that out of 150 channels on cable I watch maybe ten or so if that many. Yet I pay for all of them. No way. Not now or when the economy recovers. It’s about us not being suckers and wising up. Time you do the same, HBO. We have ways of living without you, a luxury you don’t have regarding us.

  65. Sylvie
    Sylvie May 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I’m willing to pay for HBO online but I’m done paying for the cable crap that I have been fed at high price so…HBO wants to continue supporting mediocrity, sad…

  66. Joe
    Joe June 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Same as pretty much everyone else has said. This is ridiculous. I would gladly pay $20.00 a month for streaming HBO, but there is no chance in hell that I am going to subscribe to cable. I cut the cord years ago, and it had nothing to do with the economy. I stream Hulu Plus and netflix through my PS3 and to my PC and laptop.

    This Kessler guy is a dying breed.

    Makes me wonder if he is profiting from the illegal downloading of torrents somehow.

  67. alivia
    alivia June 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    HBO

    I will NEVER pay the outrageous prices for cable tv…don’t even own a tv. Unless its live stream I won’t watch it and if it’s not…. I’ll wait until its out on video. Your loss not ours.

  68. kim
    kim June 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    As an HBO subscriber I am happy to pay for HBO as the shows are my favorite and as a paying customer I wouldn’t want others getting the same thing as me at a cheaper price just because they don’t feel its “worth” it. If its not worth it don’t buy it and stop bitching you cant get it for free. People who only watch Tv on a computer are broke its not the norm.

  69. kim
    kim June 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Lol no one wants to pay for cable.but will waste hours searching for free shows and news will pay 20 bucks for hbo 16 for netflix and hulu plus and the time searching for shows lol $36 plus cost of Internet and already you suckers are paying more than my monthly cable bill of basic (100 channels) and HBO subscription ($30 a month) Of course you cant watch every channel with cable.just like you cant watch every episode or movie with.your cheap subscriptions and the quality of netflix shows just sucks half of them.are from the broadcasters websites.

  70. Janeel
    Janeel June 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Clearly Kessler is sleeping with the cable companies and is in so deep he can’t see HBO’s true value.

  71. Jason
    Jason June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Kim,

    You’re kind of missing the point…we are willing to pay for HBO–MORE than what you’re paying actually. It’s all the extra crap (those 100 channels you mention) we don’t want to pay for.

  72. Mark
    Mark June 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I really don’t understand this logic.
    Even if you don’t stream the entire schedule..
    Wouldn’t HBO get a fortune for episode by episode pay as you go or purchase the season of one of their hit shows… Ala Carte?

    I really think they should reconsider this decision.

    I WILL NOT EVER GO BACK TO CABLE !

    I will and do purchase services and single buys
    I subcribe to Netflix and HULU Plus, and would pay by the episode or series to watch some HBO Hits.

    As cable and dish subscribers continue to diminish, what will HBO do then?

    This is not a fad… HBO is making a revenue limiting decision

  73. Marc
    Marc June 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Wow…all this HBO bashing and no rebutle from an HBO social media rep? They must think Kessler is an australopithicus as well.

    It’s ironic that we all know that cables interests and HBO’s are one and the same, but they won’t admit that. Most of us would pay the cable price or more for just the streaming service. It seems that HBO is guilty of the biggest business no-no…not listening to it’s customers.

    Kessler might as well have said, “I don’t like money.” He said that Hulu and Netflix are competition but won’t compete (because he would then be competing with cable). I believe the HBO service could crush Netflix.

  74. Steve
    Steve June 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Seriously if I could get HBO and a UFC channel with all their events streamed I wouldn’t even think twice about cancelling cable. I haven’t cut the cord yet but I wouldn’t have a problem being able to, if I had HBO to stream online. HBO will change their tune in the next few years. This Kessler dude sounds like a world class douche anyway.

  75. karendedrickson
    karendedrickson June 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I don’t have cable, most of it’s junk. But, just saw a Charlie Rose interview for the show The Newsroom. Sounded like a fabulous show. Smart, witty, and timely. I have netflix but of course they don’t have it. That’s OK. HBO owns the program- I get that! And I am willing to buy a streaming option IF HBO had one. YOU guys are stupider ( and I mean that bad grammar on purpose) than when Netflix wanted to rearrange their pricing/website access..and it nearly did them in!
    I am a baby-boomer generation. I want to choose my programs, when and/or how often. HBO is stuck in the 20th Century. Update your survey data: peoples’ viewing habits and wants–TV and Cable is OLD news guys. The Baby boomer generation or whatever generation we have been unplugged since the cordless phone–cut the cord guys and join the rest of the universe.

  76. DrHouse
    DrHouse June 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    He’s not stupid and he doesn’t believe what he is saying.
    He is placating the cable companies until cutting-the-cord makes sense for HBO’s bottom line.

    They need to see more people cut the cord and they need to mature their streaming offering and they need to see legislation that makes it illegal for providers such as Comcast to limit bandwidth to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, & HBO-Go.

  77. Mouse
    Mouse July 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t know about any of you, but cable/satalite service in my are runs about $125 a month, for basic. I am just not willing to spend that much for one, maybe two channels that I want to watch. I spend $36 a month for Internet access and another $8 for Netflix. I don’t see why HBO doesn’t offer streaming only option. It’s only going to bring them down in the long run. Even our local news stations have streaming, why not the rest?

  78. Me Ted
    Me Ted July 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    That’s ok Kessler. I’ll continue to use legitimate streaming sources like Netflix and Hulu for most of my TV needs and simply download HBO content on torrents. When you decide to join us in the 21st century, I might reconsider.

  79. Phil
    Phil July 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Cord cutting is a fad that will go away?! How antiquated are you? Why are these executives for these networks so antiquated that they really think we’ll travel back in time to 1988?

  80. HBO Reveal Cable-Less Nordic Launch
    HBO Reveal Cable-Less Nordic Launch August 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

    [...] the reluctance to change their business model in America, HBO Nordic’s newly-appointed CEO Herve Payan claimed that the upcoming launch of [...]

  81. Online Television Is Becoming The New Norm
    Online Television Is Becoming The New Norm September 17, 2012 at 12:18 am

    [...] coming down in price, and new set-top products being released every month, the concept of “cutting the cord” with your cable or satellite company is becoming far more realistic than it was just a few [...]

  82. Joe
    Joe September 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Streaming TV is the future, and they all know it. Listen to Shari Redstone talk about it. They are not worried that they are going less subscribers. They are worried that you are no longer going to watch their stupid “News” shows, bad content, and other stuff that you don’t want to watch, but are too bored and flip on the tv and watch anyway. They want to control the timing to maximize revenue. They don’t want you to be able to control what you want. So what do they do? The stall, they say it is impractical, the companies say a whole lot of stuff. Do they believe it? No. These people are very smart and can see the ever changing trends. Hell, Kessler probably said that so that he can get his name into the history books for one of the biggest gaffs there ever was. Blip indeed! He knows online streaming is no blip, he is just pandering to an audience. Everyone remembers the 64Kb quote from Bill Gates. This is similar and deliberate. Change happens all the time. Why did google choose Kansas City to start their fibre optic network..and not say Los Angeles or New York? Think about it like a spider web going out in all directions starting at the center…..If you ask me, GoogleTV, Google everything is the thing that’s going to take over. They are going to be your ISP, Television Distributor, Social and Work network, your cell phone both handset and service provider. they are going to control your home before you know it. Soon enough we are going to have google refrigerators…all this at speeds greater than 10Gigabytes per second…and that’s just the start…I see internet speed going to infinity…eventually (basically as fast as needed..) So in the mean time they are maximizing their revenue streams, but I think the Redstone’s are deathly afraid of Google…oh by the way, if they were smart..which they are…google would buy up CBS and Viacom in a second….

  83. Jim
    Jim September 29, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Ohh, that poor delusional fool that HBO boss is. As others had mentioned earlier, why do they think this will cost them? Keep the same price as the add-on to cable, or if you go with a third party streaming service, bump it up a few bucks. You still make money from us while we save money from unnecessary and overpriced cable. Like it or not, but a la carte TV is here to stay, with or without you HBO.

  84. Violet
    Violet November 5, 2012 at 6:27 am

    The guy’s a dinosaur

  85. LR
    LR November 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Cutting our direct TV $120 monthly in December when our contract is up.
    Roku and books will be our new norm!
    Thanx 4 thread as we will also miss our HBO
    but will just wait for the hbo great programming when it hits DVD’s/iTunes <3

  86. Jennifer
    Jennifer December 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I cut the cord last month. Roku, netflix, hulu are our options. I miss my HBO but I won’t be calling Dish or DirecTv for more raping of my bank account. I’m done. Cord cutting complete. Get a freaking clue Eric.

  87. SebastianMichaelis
    SebastianMichaelis December 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    My set up is just perfect for me:

    1. Fast Internet Service
    2. Roku Box (great for additional shows not found on the Internet)
    3. Nook Color for outdoor or bedroom viewing)
    4. PlayOn (paid one-time $40.00 fee.)
    5. Memberships with Neflix and Hulu Plus ($7.99 per month each)
    6. A program that allows me to watch the BBC over in London.

    And this guy has got the stupid audacity to think that I am going to pay $40.00 a month or more repeatedly for channels I don’t want that show at least 75% advertisements just in case his channel might have something good on. Nope. Not happening.

  88. AD
    AD December 24, 2012 at 4:46 am

    The problem with HBO’s perception is that streaming is not directly linked to a poor economy. On the contrary, in addition to becoming a global economy we have also become a mobile one. No one has time to sit at home and watch because they are on the move. The only role a poor economic state plays in this is that more poeple are being introduced to this convenience as a result of economic changes. I remember a time when cellphones were for emergencies only and now a lot of poeple I know don’t have a landline. I will say the main flaw in HBO’s argument is, while it is true economy may be the initial motivator for consumers to explore streaming, convenience is a wicked seductress that seldom lets go of her victims.

  89. AD
    AD December 24, 2012 at 4:54 am

    In addition, whichever company does choose to see the light first, HBO, Showtime, etc. will grab a huge chuck of the market share that will make it extremely difficult for the others to catch up. Kind of what happened with Netflix verses Blockbuster Videos. Blockbuster was huge in video and game rentals now they are obsolete because they took too long to catch on.

  90. william krause
    william krause January 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    you know i to was ready to pay for hbo. i live in where i dont have cable dish cant get no seves. i have hugesnet for my computer. i guess will just have to keep watching it free i would much rather pay for it so heres to you hbo ill just keep watching free thank alot

  91. Aaa
    Aaa February 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I hope he will get fired soon and the reason being that he is an idiot.

  92. Robert Barker
    Robert Barker March 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I tried contacting HBO directly with no reply. I did however get offers from Comcast and U-verse a day or two later for their overpriced 200 channels of crap. I guess I’ll piggyback my friend’s streaming account again and HBO can continue to miss out on the money I would have paid. I’ve had Netflix for 4 years now. It hasn’t been a “blip”.

  93. Matt
    Matt March 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I find it hard to believe that this “cord cutting” is a temporary economy “thing.” I just canceled my cable and HBO sadly just before the new season of Game of Thrones. Cox Communications was charging me $105.00 a month for cable and internet service. I enjoyed that very much as at that price I did not feel I was paying for wasted tv, even though I was as I do not watch have the junk they offer. But my bill today was $170.00 a month as all my “specials” expired. So I canceled. I now pay $56.00 a month for middle of the line internet service. I will stream what I can for free and use the savings to purchase movies or shows off iTunes or Amazon. If HBO or others would learn from this and offer say, $20.00 a month streaming only service I would be willing to bet they would have more subscribers than they currently have now. Plus, no middle man cable company. And I get what I want. The one channel I normally watch. Its not a fad folks. I did this same thing last year. Six months from now they will call me back and offer me all that I had and more for under or at $100.00 a month and I will accept, and cancel again after a few months when they try to jack the rate. Just wish old men would move on and realize the world is changing.

  94. Melinda
    Melinda March 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Mr. Kessler needs to wake up and smell the roses. Remember BLOCKBUSTER… people will always want to shop for videos in a local neighborhood store… Now where are they? Kessler thinks that just because he says so, it will be so. He’s wrong. I would much rather pay HBO directly for content than go through a cable provider.

  95. nachternal
    nachternal April 17, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Dear Mr. Kessler (aka numbnuts),

    Why don’t you ask some of your record industry brethren about their take on whether you should offer a streaming product to the market?

  96. Schummy
    Schummy May 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    He i looking bit stupid now. Cable and satellite companies WILL have to offer a streaming only service just like Sky do in the UK. If this backward thinking fool doesn’t then HBO WILL lose subscribers.

  97. Time Warner Looking To Roll Out HBO Streaming Service

    […] though HBO have previously gone on record to say they would not offer a streaming only service, TWC last year launched a $49 monthly trial with Comcast offering a backdoor way to get HBO […]

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