HBO Streaming Video Coming to the iPad

You know how you can sign up for a cable or satellite TV package to get access to some — but not all — of the TV channels available in your area? And you know how you have to pay an extra fee if you want access to premium channels like HBO or Showtime? Yeah, it looks like we might have the same sort of tiered system eventually on computers and mobile devices.

HBO co-president Eric Kessler tells Bloomberg that within six months  the company will begin offering videos for the iPad and other mobile devics. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in the same interview, Kessler says that HBO won’t be licensing its content to Netflix or any of the other companies currently offering TV and video streams to mobile and computer users.

In other words, not only are we probably going to end up with a tiered system where you pay different prices depending on the content you want — but you’ll probably have to run different apps to access different content. Read the rest of this entry »

7 thoughts on “HBO Streaming Video Coming to the iPad”

  1. If HBO chooses to take on Netflix they will get their lunch handed to them. Right now, HBO is huge, but you A.) have to be a cable subscriber and B.) you have to be willing to pay HBO’s monthly fee before you can actually get to the content. This is still a lot of people, but much much smaller than the number of people who have DVD players and can just get True Blood by mail anyway.

  2. The current HBO Go service is restricted to cable providers who inked deals – right now, only Comcast and Verizon FiOS HBO subscribers get access. With this expanded service, I wonder if they’ll open it up to the broader population.

    I only subscribe to HBO when they have compelling original series. For example, flipped it on with Cox for True Blood and Entourage – which runs me $9/mo. Whereas, purchasing episodes via iTunes is potentially a more pricey proposition @ $3/episode. Basically, any new mobile solution (or OTT lean back) should clock in at less than what I pay the cable-co. Then again, that’s where their bread is buttered. So, even by cutting out the middle man, they may not make it so competitive. We’ll see…

  3. My read of the article is that HBO is merely expanding the HBO GO/Cinemax GO platforms by including an app for the iPad, nothing more. HBO GO has been a value add for HBO subscribers but not a standalone service. If that changes, then I would agree that Netflix would be the winner, but it doesn’t look like they want to eat away at their core subscription model.

  4. A value add for only some HBO subscribers… Comcast and FiOS. Sigh. If it’s more of the same, it doesn’t do much for me. Honestly, it’d probably be Showtime that does something on the side — they’ve been the most progressive to date. (And their original programming is better these days, any how.)

  5. “My read of the article is that HBO is merely expanding the HBO GO/Cinemax GO platforms by including an app for the iPad, nothing more. HBO GO has been a value add for HBO subscribers but not a standalone service.”

    Yup. Buy the hi-res lean-back video, and we’ll throw in the low-res mobile video for free.

  6. “And Showtime’s original programming is better these days, any how.”

    We are very different people.

    Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Showtime’s original programming. It’s good TV. And I do have a soft spot for Weeds.

    But HBO’s original programming right now is like Hollywood of the late 1930’s. They’ve got a real Genius of the System thing going on right now. Even their weaker efforts tend to be incredibly interesting.

    It sometimes seems to me as if when indie cinema collapsed over the past decade, all the refugees went en masse to HBO original programming…

  7. I keep trying HBO and they keep disappointing me. Ever since Sopranos ended and Deadwood was nixed, its just never been the same? Entourage? Lame. A once interesting show but way long in the tooth now. Curb Your Enthusiasm with the Seinfeld thing. Seen it, and there was only really one or two episodes that even had the cast on them. Tried True Blood. Obviously I’m the only one that doesn’t get it, but I’ve seen two episodes and don’t get it. Treme I actually liked but wasn’t enough to keep me paying $14.95 a month. East Bound and Down? You’re kidding right?

    Agree completely that Showtime’s offerings are currently superior–Weeds, The C Word, Dexter, United States of Tara…

    But anyway, the tide is turning against independent Over The Top stuff and in the direction of suplementary access. The bad news is you can’t cancel your cable subscription. The good news is the OTT competition is forcing the media companies to at least let you watch the shows you pay for wherever you want (except on an airplane or anywhere you don’t have Wifi, that would be crazy).

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