HBO Closer to New Over-the-Top Game

HBO continues to be stingy with details of its emerging over-the-top, direct-to-consumer service, but a report last week claimed that the premium programmer has settled on a name and a price for the offering.

The OTT service will be called “HBO Now,” fetch $15 per month and hit the market in time for the April 12 season five premiere of Game of Thrones, per the International Business Times.

The report also said that HBO and Apple are in talks to have the Apple TV serve as a launch partner for the new offering. Apple has shipped about 25 million Apple TV devices so far. Apple TV already supports HBO Go, HBO’s authenticated app for pay TV partners, as do other platforms including Web browsers, the Sony PS3 and PS4, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, the Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire, Google Chromecast, Roku devices, Samsung smart TVs, and the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

It has been expected that the launch of HBO’s OTT service would sync up with the new season of GoT, but the HBO Now brand name has yet to appear in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.

HBO wouldn’t confirm or deny details in the report. “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service,” an HBO official said in a statement. “And when we have details to share, we will do so.”

HBO said last fall it would introduce an OTT service in 2015, stressing it would be targeted to 10 million broadband-only homes in the U.S. and, therefore, wouldn’t cannibalize the pay TV subscription base. But a study from Parks Associates suggested otherwise, finding that about half of broadband homes likely to take HBO’s OTT service would cancel their pay-TV service.