December 18, 2011
Time Warner Inks Deal To Provide HBO GO Streaming Service
Time Warner Cable announced Friday that it has signed a deal with HBO to provide customers with access HBO GO, the online streaming service from the popular premium cable company.
The deal will make HBO GO available to nearly 12 million viewers who subscribe to HBO and also TWC. The cable giant said Cinemax subscribers will also be able to access content via MAX GO.
TWC will kick off a beta test of both services soon, and will launch the services to all its HBO/Cinemax cable customers in the next month.
Time Warner spokesman Jeff Simmermon said in a blog post that the beta was needed to “keep things running smoothly for everyone.”
“We are working with HBO and our internal tech teams right now to determine the parameters of that beta trial, and will absolutely announce more specific details as soon as we can,” he wrote. “Once started, that beta trial should be over with very quickly, and our customers will be streaming all of their favorite HBO shows shortly thereafter.”
HBO GO will be accessible online via HBOGo.com and via the Roku set-top box, but subscribers can also watch HBO programming on their mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
Viewers “will have free, unlimited access to the corresponding online services at any time, on any computer in the U.S. with a high-speed Internet connection, as well as a host of other devices, including the iPad,” TWC and HBO said in a joint statement.
MAX GO will also be available through iPads, iPhones, and Android devices as well.
HBO GO will not offer a live feed of its programming; however, users will be able to access archives of new and old programs at the same time they are airing on television, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Once customers connect to HBO GO, they will be able to access more than 1,400 titles online, including every episode of every season from newer HBO series including Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Boardwalk Empire, and from older series such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City. HBO GO will also include original films, miniseries, sports events, documentaries, specials and movies.
MAX GO will offer about 400 titles online.
HBO GO will allow users to create watch lists for later viewing, and also customize the way they watch programs. HBO GO will also let users sign up for alerts when new episodes of their favorite shows are posted online.
Requirements are simple: a subscription to Time Warner Cable, HBO (or Cinemax), and a high-speed Internet connection. Mobile devices need to have at least a 3G connection to receive HBO GO. The service will only be available in the US.
While new for TWC, HBO GO has actually been in service since February 2010 with Verizon FiOS. It has since allowed subscribers to watch content through AT&T´s U-Verse and DirecTV. The company´s website also states HBO GO is available on Charter Communications, DISH Network, Suddenlink, WOW! and Comcast Xfinity. Beta versions are also available for Cox Communications and RCN, according to HBO GO.
Netflix, which has no streaming rights for HBO content, stated in a note to shareholders early this year that its largest competitor would be cable channels that improve ways to stream their content online, such as HBO GO.
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