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Comcast Prepped To Launch HBO Go On Xbox

Comcast subscribers will soon be able to log in to HBO's TV Everywhere service from the Microsoft Xbox 360 game console, after the two sides resolved business issues unrelated to the device itself, according to an industry source.

The MSO will allow Xfinity TV and Internet subscribers to access the HBO Go app on the Xbox as early as this week, The New York Timesreported Wednesday. Sources confirmed that the companies have reached a deal.

HBO launched its app on the game platform last week, but it is not currently available through Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks.

Comcast and HBO declined to comment.

According to a person familiar with the negotiations, Comcast's holdup on the HBO Go service for Xbox had "nothing to do" with the technical integration with the game console. Rather, there were other business issues that Comcast and HBO were working out before the MSO gave the go-ahead on the Xbox.

Sources close to Comcast previously indicated that HBO had not agreed to all of the conditions it required of TV Everywhere partners, such as how subscriber information is handled on third-party devices and websites.

For now, Comcast, the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. with 22.3 million video subscribers, still will not provide access to the HBO authenticated programming service through Roku set-tops or Samsung Smart TVs, as many other HBO affiliates do.

Meanwhile, public-interest groups complained that Comcast's policy of not counting video-on-demand consumed through its Xfinity TV app on the Xbox was anticompetitive. Comcast said that because the Xbox acts as effectively another set-top box, usage of the Xfinity app is not subject to the 250-Gigabyte monthly limit on broadband users.

It is not known whether video streamed using the HBO Go app on Xbox will count toward the Comcast cap. The MSO, in its frequently asked questions section of its website, says all Internet-delivered video -- including that on its XfinityTV.com site -- counts toward total usage.