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Kessler: HBO Go Rolls to Kindle

New York — HBO Go, the premium network’s
authenticated streaming service, will
launch on Amazon’s Kindle Fire with the start
of the upcoming season of True Blood.

Eric Kessler, co-president of HBO, told attendees
at the “TV in a Multiplatform World”
conference here on May
3, presented by Multichannel
, Broadcasting
& Cable
and TV
, that HBO
Go would become available
on the Kindle Fire
on June 10, when the
premium programmer
also will bow the fifth
campaign of its hit vampire
series on numerous
Android-based tablets.

“Once Kindle Fire launches, HBO Go
will be on the vast majority of devices that
people use for streaming,” Kessler, who
added that other platform rollouts would continue
throughout the year, said.

HBO Go debuted as a Web-based service for
PCs and Macs two years ago. The “TV Everywhere”
service then launched its mobile app
on May 1, 2011, backed by a major national advertising
campaign. Since then, it has concluded
rollouts with major distributors, including
Time Warner Cable and Cablevision, as well as
a number of smaller distributors. “HBO Go is
now available to 99% of all of HBO’s subs,” Kessler
said. “And every week, a new smaller distributor
comes on board.”

In terms of specific platforms, HBO Go has
rolled out to iPads and iPhones, Android devices,
Roku’s Internet set-top boxes and Samsung
Internet-connected TVs.

More recently, to coincide with the April 1
second-season premiere
of original fantasy series
Game of Thrones, the
programmer launched
HBO Go on Microsoft’s
Xbox. “There is no better
match than the Game
of Thrones
audience and
the Xbox audience,”
Kessler said.

Kessler noted the
guiding business principle
has more to do
with loyalty and length of stay. When you’re
in the subscription business, whether “television,
magazine or steak of the month club,”
the idea is to keep customers around as long
as possible. He said in any given year, HBO
will have more than 10 million transactions,
with people “coming on or off the service for
101 different reasons.”

Kessler also said that when the programmer
launched HBO Go, it was not with an eye toward,
three-, six- or 12-month cycles in mind,
but about future customers, “those streaming
now and the next generation.”