Most of you cord-cutters already steal HBO Go passwords from your friends' parents, but there is a secret way to get access to HBO Go that doesn't involve breaking the law.
Comcast: "Internet Plus"
Time Warner Cable: "Starter TV+HBO and an Internet plan"
Verizon: "50/25 Mbps + Local News and Sports + HBO (or Showtime)"
AT&T: "HBO Internet Plus"
The Journal's Geoffrey Fowler nixed his bloated $212-a-month Comcast cable TV package for a $75-a-month deal that included broadband, about 10 cable channels, and HBO. That might sound steep for not that many channels, but I pay about $55 a month for just Internet through Time Warner. To add HBO to a normal cable bill typically costs between $5 and $10, depending on the company.
HBO has no interest in offering standalone HBO Go (sans cable) because the company gets a very generous cut from cable providers. It's unclear if it would do as well on its own. But cable companies have started feeling pressure from cord-cutters and cord-nevers—people who no longer want to pay upwards of $100 a month to get channels they never watch. To keep customers, providers have, therefore, started offering more attractive packages with fewer channels.
The plans above don't eliminate HBO's tie to cable TV, but offer super stripped-down packages as a way to tack on HBO. It's a little bit sneaky—and may not last forever. And of course, there's no guarantee that you won't have to endure an excruciating conversation with the cable company customer service representative to negotiate these special rates.
Update: While some readers have had success ditching their expensive cable packages, others have been told that the offers don't exist in their area. It might have something to do with the competition in those areas, as one commenter suggests. It might also have to do with a particular customer service representative. One Fast Company editor has spent hours in negotiations with Time Warner.