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Standalone HBO GO Service Likely to Spur Further Cord-Cutting: Report

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Is access to Game of Thrones, Girls, and other HBO content enough to make consumers cancel the rest of their pay tv subscription? New research from Parks Associates says the answer may be "yes—but not necessarily in numbers that should have cable and satellite providers worried.

According to a new report called "Consumer Segmentation: OTT Video Buyers," only 17% of U.S. broadband subscribers are likely to subscribe to HBO GO when it becomes available, reportedly in April. Of that 17%, 91% are current pay TV subscribers, and about half of those say they'd cancel their pay tv service if when they do. The report is based on a survey of 10,000 respondents in Q4 2014.

But even the research firm itself admits that those numbers might not represent reality. "Just because somebody says on a survey that they're going to do something doesn't mean they actually are," Parks Associates research analyst told The Huffington Post. As compelling as a standalone HBO GO service is likely to be—assuming it offers exactly the same content that the current, TV Anywhere version does—it may not be enough to make up for all of the content that subscribers get with their pay TV service.

The Parks survey didn't look only at HBO GO. It also found that 12% of respondents are likely to subscribe to CBS All Access, 11% to Starz Play, and 9% each to Cinemax MAX GO, MOVIEPLEX Play, and Encore Play, and that 50% of broadband households already subscribe to an OTT service such as Netflix, with the average head of household watching about 3.5 hours of OTT on a television each week.

And, as many cord-cutters have found, once you look at the cost of replacing some of the content you lose when you get rid of cable or satellite—and perhaps lose the savings you get when you no longer receive your Internet access as part of a bundle—the cost-savings isn't nearly as significant as it might initially appear.

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