HBO networks is in talks with Apple Inc, Google Inc and some other companies to be its launch partner for the highly anticipated HBO Now video streaming service, according to two media reports. The reports say the service will launch in early April, ahead of the April 12th debut of the new season of “Game of Thrones.” Called HBO Now, would cost $15/month according to the IBT.
HBO, which belongs to Time Warner, Inc (also the parent concern of CNN money), is working with Apple to offer Apple TV, according to IBT. It will likely also work with other popular streaming devices like the Amazon Fire, Roku, Google Chromecast and Microsoft’s XBox. The talks also includes to distribute the Web-only service, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. TiVo Inc, which makes digital video recorderd, is in discussion with HBO about distributing the service, Chief Executive Tom Rogers told Bloomberg.
Currently, HBO Go (the company’s streaming service and mobile apps) is only available to people who pay for HBO through their cable or satellite provider. Cord cutters who pay for Internet but not cable have had to go without it original content or ‘borrow’ a login from a friend or family member.
While there are around 30 million households that pay for HBO through their cable company, there is a huge unbroached market of those who want to watch HBO’s shows but not sign up for a whole cable package. The company estimates there are 80 million homes without HBO. To avoid alienating the cable and satellite companies that pay for the rights to carry HBO — a major lure for cable subscribers — the channel might have some variation between what’s offered on HBO Go versus HBO Now.
Representatives from Apple and Google did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
Time Warner Inc, which owns the HBO pay-TV service, announced the video streaming service in October in order to hold onto or attract subscribers who are ditching pricey cable television subscriptions.