HBO made a lot of people in the cord-cutter community happy when they announced HBO Now's pre-Game of Thrones release. This timing meant that fans of the show would have the ability to legally watch the show as it airs, as opposed to illegally downloading the episode afterwards.
Almost immediately, however, HBO poured cold water on the hopes of these fans when it was announced that HBO Now would be exclusive to the Apple TV at launch. Since the install-base of Apple TV is incredibly small, the number of people who actually have access to the new HBO Now system was incredibly limited.
Luckily HBO has found a way to circumvent what is generally believed to be an odd launch partnership by adding their normal broadcast to another streaming platform: Sling TV. Unlike HBO Now which does not require a cable subscription, HBO on Sling TV is more like normal HBO. This is because it requires the standard Sling TV subscription, plus $15 per month to add the network. This brings the total cost of HBO on Sling TV to $35.
The good news is that Sling TV is specifically designed for cord-cutters - the same people that HBO Now is designed for. Because of this, the $35 is likely to be a cost these cord-cutters were already planning to pay, just through different means. By adding HBO to Sling TV, the reach of HBO has expanded without any major expense on the part of HBO, and without violating whatever contract they signed with Apple.
This partnership is certainly a clever move on HBO's part, and yet another way to watch Game of Thrones this season.
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