HBO is taking action against users outside the UK using tools to access its Now service. The company is threatening to cut off non-US Now users who have used VPNs and other tools to access the service. The broadcaster has been sending emails to people it thinks have exploited the workaround, saying that it needs to take action as it only has the rights to broadcast the shows in the US.
Emails have apparently been sent to people in the UK, Germany, Canada and Australia. HBO Now was designed to allow US users to watch their shows without subscribing to a TV or cable service. Such subscriptions can cost much more than the $14.99 charged by HBO each month, but HBO is now concerned that the service is being used by people outside the States.
Shows including Game of Thrones can be watched via costlier pay TV services, but it seems that some customers are cutting costs dramatically by accessing HBO Now. HBO said that customers it suspected of using VPNs and other tools would be cut off on April 21 if they couldn’t prove their eligibility.
Netflix has also taken action against people accessing content not meant for them via VPNs, although boss Reed Hastings said that they were “less bad” than people pirating and paying nothing at all.