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Comcast finds an exciting new way to anger subscribers

Published Mar 5th, 2015 2:24PM EST
Why Is Comcast So Bad

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If you are already paying for HBO through your cable provider, then you should have no problem watching HBO Go on your device of choice at home, right? Right… unless you’re a Comcast subscriber. The Verge’s Chris Welch points out that PS4 owners who also subscribe to HBO through Comcast still aren’t able to access the app on their devices even though it released to the console earlier this week.

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And as Engadget informs us, Comcast really is the only ISP where this is an issue. If you subscribe to Time Warner Cable, Charter or any other cable company, you’ll be able to use HBO Go on the PS4 as long as you’re already paying them for HBO. Because, you know, that’s the entire point of HBO Go in the first place.

Why is Comcast doing this, you ask? That’s a good question. Karl Bode flags Comcast’s official explanation and it really doesn’t make a lick of sense. Here is Comcast’s full statement:

With every new website, device or player we authenticate, we need to work through technical integration and customer service which takes time and resources. Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize as we partner with various players.

We suppose we’d be sympathetic to Comcast if there were actually any other providers out there who experienced these hiccups… except none do. It’s only Comcast. If AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and everyone else can get their acts together, why not the Pride of Philadelphia?

Welch makes a very good point that this is the type of practice that the FCC should scrutinize when reviewing the proposed Comcast-TWC merger. After all, TWC has never had an issue with its subscribers accessing HBO Go on their devices. If it gets swallowed up by Comcast, would we then see a situation where the most dominant wireline ISP in the country would have the power to effectively block perfectly legitimate apps for no apparent reason?

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.