After months of wrangling, Time Warner Cable expects to launch HBO's authenticated TV Everywhere online video services -- HBO Go and Max Go -- within the next month, the MSO announced Friday.
TWC and HBO will run a brief beta trial, after which the service is expected to launch to all Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to HBO in the next month. Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to HBO and/or Cinemax will have -- for no additional charge -- unlimited access to the corresponding online services at any time, on any computer in the U.S. with a high-speed Internet connection as well as other devices, including the iPad.
The idea with HBO Go -- and other TV Everywhere services -- is to encourage subscribers to keep paying for the TV service by bundling in unlimited access to a trove of content on other devices.
"HBO Go has been a tremendous success with our subscribers," HBO co-president Eric Kessler said in a statement. "We're happy that Time Warner Cable customers will be able to enjoy this great product which provides streaming of HBO's programming library."
With the TWC deal, of the 11 biggest pay-TV distributors, only Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks remain on the HBO Go sidelines. Bright House has an agreement with Time Warner Cable to piggyback on the larger MSO's programming deals.
HBO Go is currently available through Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-verse, Suddenlink Communications, WideOpenWest, RCN and Massillon Cable.
According to Kessler, as of last month the premium programmer had delivered some 98 million streams through the TV Everywhere service, with most of it occurring in the last six months since the launch of its apps for Apple iOS and Android smartphones.
"We're very pleased to have completed an agreement that's good for our customers," Susan Weinstein, Time Warner Cable group vice president of content acquisition, said in a statement. "HBO and Cinemax offer unique and compelling programming for our customers, and soon they'll be able to access it both anytime and anywhere."
HBO Go offers more than 1,400 titles online, including every episode of every season of original HBO shows including current series Game of Thrones, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire and older ones such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Deadwood, as well as movies, HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, and specials.
Max Go offers more than 400 titles of Cinemax programming online, including hundreds of movies and the Max After Dark series.
Once launched, to access online, Time Warner Cable's HBO and Cinemax subscribers can go to HBOGO.com and MAXGO.com. Subscribers can then sign in with their Time Warner Cable user name and password, make their viewing selection and begin watching.
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