HBO will use Game of Thrones to break cable’s iron grip

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HBO is planning to launch a new standalone streaming service in 2015, and if you’re like me and can’t wait to watch the latest chapter in Khaleesi’s quest to become take back the iron throne, you’ll be happier than Hodor on Maiden’s Day to hear the a la carte service could land just in time for the Game of Thrones season 5 premiere.

The new HBO streaming service will offer viewers access to HBO’s entire catalog of shows, movies, documentaries and live programming without need a cable subscription, for the first time ever. There’s no word yet on pricing, but its expected to be a cord-cutter’s dream, giving Apple TV users more premium content to watch on demand.

Fortune reports development of the technology underpinning HBO’s streaming service has been rife with conflict. Rather than using in-house technology built by its new CTO, HBO struck a deal with MLB Advanced to use their white-label streaming technology. A special project codenamed “Maui” was recently killed off by HBO, after executives determined a third-party could help them offer a stand alone service faster.

“HBO executive management has made a decision to pursue an external solution for the product that was being built by the Maui team. This decision was not made lightly, and was based on an assessment of risk and scope of the product needed to meet HBO¹s short term business needs for April 2015.

Season 5 of Game of Thrones is set to premiere in April. Season 4 of Game of Thrones, along with True Detectives, caused a number of embarrassing outages on HBO Go earlier this year.

All the effort put into project Maui won’t be a complete loss for HBO though. In a memo sent to employees by Mark Thomas, SVP of Technology Program Management, and Drew Angeloff, SVP, Digital Products, the two say as much of the tech as possible will be folded into HBO Go, and that switching to an external partner will allow the company to “focus on the forward looking technologies we are creating for HBO GO.”

Source: Fortune