Inking a deal with HBO GO, Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable announced last month that it will begin streaming the service. Also entering into the mix through the master agent is Cinemax with its mobile content available on MAX GO.
With beta testing currently underway, the master agent has arranged for a launch of both services later this month, assuming there are no hiccups in beta, according to this PC Mag report. With the successful launch, customers of Cinemax and HBO will be able to stream their program of choice via Roku box or through mobile Apple and Android products.
HBO’s streaming project launched in 2010 through Verizon FiOS, and later through DirecTV and AT&T (News - Alert) U-Verse. HBO Go is now available on a variety of other networks as a result of master agent agreements, including DISH Network and Comcast (News - Alert) Xfinity.
The move to streaming content over mobile devices comes at a critical juncture for HBO and Cinemax as the popularity of Netflix and Hulu, as well as Boxee (News - Alert) and Vudu, has had customers dropping their cable services for these low-cost, online streaming options. Cable companies have fought back by going to a streaming model as well.
Those in the position of master agent are in a particularly good situation here as they broker deals to offer a partnerships that are beneficial not only to the cable provider, but to the companies like HBO, and the customer as well.
Netflix, though not immune to snafus of its own, revealed early in 2011 that its major competition in the future would probably be cable providers that take to the Internet. The company had the foresight to recognize the impending competition.
The inability to stream HBO GO, which has about 1,400 titles from which to choose, was met with some annoyance by Time Warner Cable customers. Some comment that it has taken a “ridiculously long” amount of time. The negative tide took a positive turn when Time Warner spokesperson Jeff Simmermon blogging about the agreement in December.
It’s possible that the delay in bringing the service to Time Warner was due to lengthy discussions between the master agent, the cable provider, and HBO. However, once the beta testing is complete, subscribers only need to download an application to begin streaming the HBO and Cinemax programming.
The president of HBO, Eric Kessler, said HBO GO has been a “tremendous success” with subscribers and that they are pleased to have completed an agreement with Time Warner that is will bring value to HBO customers.
With the agreement between master agent and the other companies comes the ability to put HBO and Cinemax in the palm of the user’s hand – literally. Those familiar with the Netflix application for the iPhone (News - Alert) will have no problem navigating HBO Go’s app, embracing this new turn in the saga to bring mobile video to the masses.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves