Get your TV fix any time, without a set-top box

StarHub's new streaming service offers entire series, seen as way to fight off rivals

StarHub Go offers more than 300 hours of content, including the entire series of popular show Game Of Thrones.
StarHub Go offers more than 300 hours of content, including the entire series of popular show Game Of Thrones.PHOTO: HBO ASIA

Fans of TV series Game Of Thrones and True Detective can now ditch their set-top boxes and stream the entire series online whenever they want to.

A new service by StarHub allows consumers to stream the entire catalogue of HBO and Cinemax Originals through their computers, tablets or mobile phones, the telco announced yesterday.

A pay TV subscription will not be required for this service, so viewers can get their TV fix on-demand without the need for a set-top box or cable service.

Both StarHub and non-StarHub customers can sign up for it. There are currently over 300 hours of content offered on the service, with popular titles such as Boardwalk Empire, Band Of Brothers, Game Of Thrones, Entourage and The Newsroom available in high definition at the launch of the service. StarHub says it plans to increase content every week to reach almost 1,000 hours by the end of this year.

This streaming service is part of StarHub's new StarHub Go subscription, which comes in three tiers: basic, premium and sports.

HBO GO is available only to those who sign up for the premium subscription, which costs $19.90 per month.

Previously, StarHub customers who wanted to catch HBO shows would have to sign up for a basic set-top package and buy an additional HBO package, for a total of about $44.

"Introducing HBO Asia's standalone streaming service on StarHub Go without a traditional pay TV subscription is a natural progression for us to reach new audiences," said HBO Asia chief executive Jonathan Spink.

Analysts say that StarHub's decision to provide such online offerings was to pre-empt further competition for viewer eyeballs in the online space.

Senior analyst Clement Teo of US-based market research firm Forrester said: "Netflix has been sniffing around our shores, and both Apple and Google are offering movies here.

"Those are signs of competition and StarHub's offer is so that it doesn't lose its value to its subscribers, and also to attract new ones."

The basic StarHub Go package, which includes streaming of programmes such as documentaries from Discovery Science and Korean drama series from KBS World and Oh!K, is priced at $9.90 per month.

The sports pack will contain live streaming of sports channels such as SuperSports 1 to SuperSports 4, and costs $24.90 per month.

Football fans who sign up for the sports pack can also stream the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Europa League on Aug 19.

Those who sign up between Aug 12 and Sept 30 can get discounted rates for Go Basic at $0.99, and Go Premium and Go Sports Packs at $1.99 each per month for three months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Get your TV fix any time, without a set-top box'. Print Edition | Subscribe