HBO A la Carte Option on Google Play

HBO-Go

One of the biggest frustrations for cord cutters is they cannot get premium TV shows from HBO or Showtime. Well, HBO has changed that (in a way). Shows like Game of Thrones, the Newsroom, True Blood and more will be found on Google Play starting at $1.99 per episode. You can even get full seasons at $19.

HBO said this was just the beginning of their partnership with Google Play. According to an article on Engadget, they plan to put more content up soon – including older shows and documentaries.

A la carte options are very similar to what iTunes does. I used to get all my episodes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad for $35. Only downfall is I would have to wait 24 hours for the shows to be uploaded and cataloged in iTunes.

This also doesn’t void any contracts with cable companies.

HBO will be rolling this out in the coming months.

House of Cards Emmy Win: Further Validation of Netflix and Streaming

House of Cards

House of Cards

Last night at the Emmys, Netflix took a win by taking the Best Director prize for his original “House of Cards”. One of a few original shows you can get when you subscribe to Netflix.

Although they didn’t sweep the Emmys by any means, Netflix’s win shows an award winning TV program can be found through streaming media. It also means publishing a series all at once does not change the fact it’s an Emmy contender.

This Emmy could bring more original independent works to Netflix. It doesn’t mean they all can win Emmy’s – as Netflix’s store-bought “Arrested Development” and prison show “Orange is the New Black” shows us. However, Netflix now can show and compete with premium channel content such as those shows found on HBO and Showtime.

Binge Watching or Weekly Episodes?

Netflix_Web_LogoHouse of Cards was released all at once – causing people to “Binge-watch”. This might also cause people to go over to a friends’ house for 12 hours and not invest in the service themselves. If Netflix plans to put out a regular schedule of shows, will the same model be relevant? Will putting out 1-2 episodes weekly be a better alternative?

A couple years back, Netflix had a contract with Starz; along with that the rights to Starz original programming. At the time, Sparticus was in it’s first season. You could watch Starz live from Netflix (SD through Internet Explorer) or wait a couple days for the episode to show up in the streaming section.

There is one big advantage to weekly episodes – build-up to the next week. AMC has really taken the lead on this with their “Talking Dead” talk show right after the episodes air. New guests on the show make it for a great companion to the Walking Dead – and you stay on AMC for another 30 minutes.

Of course the other advantage to weekly episodes would be subscribers – instead of someone going to a friend’s house to binge-watch, they just pay the $8 a month and watch at their convenience.

So congratulations to Netflix and House of Cards for disrupting the Emmys. I can’t wait to see what other streaming content will be part of next year’s Emmys.

Dexter, Game of Thrones Part of Top 10 Most Pirated TV Shows in 2011

Dexter

Dexter

The group over at TorrentFreak.com have come up with the top ten pirated shows this last year. They collected information from many Torrent Trackers to come up with this list. This list is US only.

Dexter, the show about a serial murderer who kills bad guys topped this years most downloaded list at 3.6 million downloads. Game of Thrones was second, and CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” hit third.

Terra Nova is the surprise – 8th place at 1.9 million. This is a show that is on the verge of cancellation by Fox. So does a number like this mean there is still hope for this show?

Some good news is these numbers are declining. Web streaming sites like Hulu give people a chance to see their shows on their schedule. In return, they don’t have to search for the latest episode.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

However, shows like Dexter and True Blood –  which are on premium channels Showtime and HBO – don’t show up on Hulu. A season of these episodes might take 2 years before they land on Netflix streaming. You can buy seasons at the conclusion through sites like Amazon, and rent shortly through Blockbuster or Netflix DVD.

Five network TV shows ended up on the list – Big Bang Theory, House, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, and Terra Nova. TorrenkFreak deduces these are mostly downloads for people who are overseas and do not have access to Hulu.

Is Premium Content Coming to Boxee?

Any questions about where Boxee may be heading could have been answered with the latest user survey.  The questions surround premium content that it seems they are thinking of making available to users.

What kind of premium content?  The best kind – pay-per-view, sports, and premium channels like HBO.  The gist of the survey surrounds what users are willing to pay for this type of content.  They are even floating the idea of NFL games on PPV – in fact, that’s the one listed in the survey.  In terms of premium channels, HBO and Showtime are names.

So, can they pull off actually adding such content?  HBO and Showtime are a possibility, but the NFL seems much more difficult, especially since they have a deal in place with DirecTV for Sunday Ticket.  It’s not out of the question, just a more difficult negotiation.  I have been waiting for this – a pay-per-view game is long overdue.  There’s seriously no reason for anyone to buy EVERY game of EVERY team in order to watch one team’s games.  It’s much more economical to pay for your game than to pay for DirecTV (plus Sunday Ticket).

Here’s hoping……….