Apple adds HBO GO, WatchESPN, Sky News, Crunchyroll and Qello streaming content to Apple TV

Apple today announced that HBO GO and WatchESPN are now available directly on Apple TV joining the great lineup of programming offered to customers. iTunes® users have downloaded more than one billion TV episodes and 380 million movies from iTunes to date, and they are purchasing over 800,000 TV episodes and over 350,000 movies per day.

“HBO GO and WatchESPN are some of the most popular iOS apps and are sure to be huge hits on Apple TV,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a statement. “We continue to offer Apple TV users great new programming options, combined with access to all of the incredible content they can purchase from the iTunes Store.”

Apple TV users can choose from over 60,000 movies and over 230,000 TV episodes, as well as the world’s largest collection of music on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Hulu Plus, Netflix’s streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.*

In addition to HBO GO and WatchESPN, three new content providers* are also available today on Apple TV including Sky News, Crunchyroll and Qello offering live news, sports and current TV programming.

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HBO GO users get unlimited access to their favorite HBO shows, including HBO original programming, hit movies, sports, documentaries, comedy specials and more. This includes full seasons of the best of HBO, plus bonus features and special behind-the-scenes extras. HBO GO on Apple TV requires a subscription to HBO through participating television providers.

WatchESPN on Apple TV delivers a one-stop video destination for sports fans with live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line to those who receive ESPN’s networks as part of their video subscription from affiliated providers. Popular sports and fan-favorite shows include college football and basketball, Monday Night Football, MLB, NBA, major golf tournaments, all four Grand Slam tennis events, SportsCenter, PTI and more. Additionally, curated on-demand video featuring the most recent and relevant content—including highlights and news clips from ESPN.com as well as short-form segments from programs such as E:60, Outside The Lines, SC Featured, Sport Science and others—will be accessible through WatchESPN for the first time via Apple TV to all users.

Sky News on Apple TV delivers a live 24/7 news feed to users in the US, UK and Ireland, including breaking news and headlines from business, politics, entertainment and more. In addition to the live feed, users can catch up on specific stories at any time via the extensive on-demand news library.

Crunchyroll, the leading global video service for Japanese Anime and Asian media, will allow subscribers worldwide to watch the latest HD shows one hour after they air in Japan. Qello, a leading on-demand streaming service for HD concerts and music documentaries, offers free or paid subscriptions to music fans worldwide. New users can sign up for Crunchyroll and Qello instantly on Apple TV.

Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video and music right on your HD TV. Coming this fall, iTunes Radio will offer you an incredibly personalized music experience directly on Apple TV based on your listening history and past purchases from iTunes. And with iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your Apple TV. iCloud is an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad, iPad mini, fifth generation iPod touch and Mac users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.**

Apple TV requires iTunes 10.5 or later. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n Wi-Fi network or Ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p and an HDMI cable that is sold separately. iTunes movie and TV show availability varies by country. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080p video. HBO GO, Watch ESPN, SkyNews, Crunchyroll and Qello require Apple TV software version 5.3 available as a free software update for second and third generation Apple TV users.

*Content availability varies by country, may require account subscriptions and may not be available in all territories.

**AirPlay requires an iOS device running iOS 4.2 or later. AirPlay Mirroring is not supported on the original iPad. AirPlay Mirroring is supported on the following Mac models: iMac (Mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer).

Source: Apple Inc.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]

30 Comments

  1. the AMAZING Plex community came up with an awesome workaround to get your Plex Media on any ATV, without any jailbreaking.
    It’s called Plex Connect and it just works! (like a Mac I guess)
    So I’ll have to see if this update breaks the workaround.
    Still don’t understand the Apple reasoning for not allowing more 3rd party apps on my ATV, I mean they could have trebles sales if they opened it up.

      1. about 50/50, but that isn’t the point is it, because Plex is freely available on my iPad/iPhone. So if legalities were an issue Plex would be kicked off the App Store.

  2. Sky News is a good sign for the UK, hopefully in due course we’ll get Sky Go. That said, the on demand functions of Sky boxes are already pretty good and well integrated with the over the air DVR functionality so Apple TV might have its work cut out for it.

  3. The irony is that because of AppTV I have canceled my cable subscription, and I never wanted HBO to begin with. THey don’t offer enough unique content that I want to see to make it worth the monthly. Considering how much I get from Netflix and HULU+ for 8 or 9 bucks each, i would be willing to pay 2 bucks a moth for on demand HBO.

    Also, why do I need HBO GO on my AppleTV anyway? If I have a cable subscription, the box will most likely be hooked up to the same set as my AppleTV.

    1. First of all, HBO GO is on-demand, so a different product offering than the network channel. As for why you’d want it, how about a second home, or an area of your home with Wi-Fi coverage, but no cable/DVR? How about in an RV via a mobile hotspot?

      1. So, if I have an HBO subscription through Verizon FIOS, (which I do) can I watch HBO movies without paying extra with my mother using an Apple TV hooked up at her house?

    2. Agreed. The HBO GO and WatchESPN apps are only marginally interesting as long as they require cable/satellite tv service subscriptions. I’d be more than willing to pay a monthly fee for these apps (a la Netflix, Hulu Plus), but I am absolutely not willing to pay for a monthly pay tv subscription. The apps hold out the promise of a la carte programming, and I was hoping that Apple could make it happen. At last, it looks like we are going to have to wait even longer.

  4. I used to LOVE my Apple TV, however in the past month I cannot get Netflix to work. It works perfectly on my Roku and on my Panisonic TV (which has been my workaround for the Apple TV). I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the Apple TV or Netflix but it’s really ticking me off.

    1. Hard-reset your Apple TV. I was having an issue with the device name on Airplay; there was a big thread on the Apple support forum. I hard-reset the Apple TV and set it up from scratch, and the problem was gone.

        1. No, that will just reboot it. It’s in the menus… I don’t recall what the options is called, but it basically restores the Apple TV to factory settings like when it first came out of the box.

  5. Apple REALLY needs to open the Apple TV up to developers. An Apple TV that ran cool curated apps like weather displays, news streaming, social media feeds, photo viewers, digital signage apps, and of course games, would be amazing! There would be all sorts of neat things you could do with it.

    We’ll need a new Apple TV with local storage, so it will have to cost a bit more, but I think the popularity of the platform would explode just like the iPhone.

    There is currently nothing in the living room like an Apple TV with third-party apps. The current- and next-gen consoles are expensive, and completely inaccessible to the vast majority of developers. This would be a whole new gold rush and reason for people to buy into the Apple ecosystem. A new halo of sorts.

    Yes, I realize you can Airplay stuff from an iOS device to the AppleTV, but it’s not the same. Different aspect ratio, lower picture quality, most apps not designed for TV, and to use it in any sort of passive fashion, you have to leave a Mac or iOS device sit there with Airplay on.

    Native apps would be awesome, Apple!

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