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Everything you need to know about streaming HBO in Canada
To catch its award-winning TV shows, you've got one of two options in Canada.
Thanks to hit shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld, HBO is widely regarded as the home of premium television, and despite having to subscribe to the channel or to a popular streaming provider, it’s easy to get access to all the HBO content your heart desires.
The oldest and longest continuously operating pay television service in the United States, Home Box Office (or HBO for short) has been consistently expanding in new markets all around the world since the early 90s. The channel’s programming mainly consists of theatrically released movies and original television series, as well as the occasional concert special, documentary, made-for-TV flick, boxing match or stand-up comedy show. Bell and Corus own the rights to HBO in Canada; however, it is possible to get access via one of two ways:
- Get access to HBO through any network provider. HBO is always packaged with The Movie Network (TMN), so you must subscribe to TMN to get HBO.
- Access HBO through the streaming service CraveTV. You’ll need to subscribe to the CraveTV + Movies + HBO package.
What makes the channel stand out from the crowd, besides its quality content, is the fact that HBO doesn’t carry traditional commercials. Instead, the network runs promos for upcoming shows/movies as well as behind-the-scenes featurettes made to pique interest in its original programming. As a result, HBO can afford to broadcast more explicit content that wouldn’t normally be allowed to air on broadcast television: think profanity, explicit sex scenes and graphic violence. All the good stuff.
The channel’s original programming earned countless major award nominations, including Emmys and Golden Globes. Despite The Larry Sanders Show being HBO’s flagship series in the 90s, The Sopranos is arguably the show that pushed HBO to the next level, earning both critical acclaim and a huge audience. Ever since, HBO has been known as the home of quality television. And thanks to hit shows like Game of Thrones, the channel is more relevant than ever, even in the current era of peak TV.
|Package||Monthly price||Channels included|
|The Movie Network (TMN)||Depends on TV provider||HBO is always packaged with The Movie Network|
|CraveTV + Movies + HBO||$19.98 + tax||HBO, CraveTV content, hit movies|
How to stream HBO in Canada
HBO Now, HBO’s streaming service, gives users access to the channel’s entire library of content – that means unlimited access to every episode of the network’s original series, plus hit movies, sports, documentaries and comedy specials. The service launched back in 2015 in the US. In Canada, the service is referred to as TMN GO, which is the online service offered through The Movie Network. You can use this service to stream HBO on your smartphone, laptop, PC, gaming console and tablet. You can also watch HBO on your TV.
Subscribe to CraveTV + Movies + HBO for $19.98 a month. With this streaming service, you get access to HBO, plenty of movies and the entire content library of CraveTV, which is always being refreshed and enlarged. CraveTV + Movies + HBO gives you access to current and past HBO hits, which includes your all-time favourites like Game of Thrones and Westworld.
Tech-savvy users may be able to go around both and access HBO Now by using a VPN service to bypass geo-blocking. However, there’s no guarantee it will work. Moreover, this is somewhere in that grey area between legal and illegal, so proceed at your own risk. HBO Now costs US$14.99/month and is available on a variety of devices – computers, phones and tablets, game consoles, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, select smart TV models and Amazon Fire TV.
The safest and most accessible ways to stream HBO content in Canada is to subscribe to The Movie Network through your cable provider or subscribe to CraveTV + Movies + HBO.
Popular HBO content
Game of Thrones in undoubtedly HBO’s biggest current hit. The final season of the series is in production and will premiere in 2019, likely sometime in spring. The epic fantasy drama, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, has a huge fan base all across the globe and manages to remain appointment television in a time where streaming is king and watching on demand is the new black. For the night is dark and full of spoilers.
Besides Game of Thrones, HBO has produced a lot of acclaimed content over the years. Most popular titles include dramas The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Westworld, Big Little Lies and Deadwood. Meanwhile, on the comedy front, we find titles like Veep, Girls, Silicon Valley, Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The list even includes Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the series that reshaped late-night TV and is scheduled to go on at least until 2020.
For 2018, HBO is making up for the fact that viewers won’t get their yearly dose of Game of Thrones with exciting new and returning originals. Here and Now, which premiered in February, follows a multicultural family as one of the children starts to have weird visions. Barry is a new sitcom centring on a hitman who is contemplating an acting career. Fahrenheit 451, based on the classic novel of the same name, is about a young fireman in a country where books are banned and firemen burn any they see on sight. Next, Sharp Objects, based on the popular book by Gillian Flynn, will arrive this winter. It stars Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Chris Messina.
As for returning favourites, 2018 will bring HBO fans new seasons of Silicon Valley, Westworld and Insecure. Hit shows True Detective, Veep and Big Little Lies will continue, with new seasons likely to hit the air in 2019.
Frequently asked questions
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Not interested in signing up for The Movie Network or CraveTV? Compare Canada’s various streaming providers below.
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