“Another company is grabbing the first-mover advantage in carrying HBO’s new Internet television service,” Joshua Brustein reports for Bloomberg. “On Wednesday, April 1, Sling TV announced it will be ‘the first live Internet TV service’ to offer HBO content. For $15 a month, Sling TV subscribers can add HBO to their Internet television packages. The companies didn’t announce an exact launch date, but they did say it would be available in time for the season premiers of Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley on April 12.”
“The announcement comes less than a month after Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive, took the stage at an Apple event and said that company would be the exclusive carrier of HBO Now,” Brustein reports. “While the companies didn’t announce it from the stage, the exclusivity didn’t extend to pay TV providers, which could still strike deals with HBO. Soon after Apple’s announcement, Cablevision said it would become the first cable company to offer HBO Now to broadband-only subscribers.”
“Wednesday’s announcements didn’t explicitly describe the service as HBO Now, maintaining Apple’s supposed exclusivity. HBO said Sling is owned by a pay TV provider (Dish) and so Apple still has an exclusive for non-pay TV companies,” Brustein reports. “Getting HBO on a non-Apple device also requires subscribing to Sling’s $20-a-month service, at least for now.”
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MacDailyNews Take: So, getting HBO on a non-Apple device costs $35 per month vs. $15 per month on an Apple device. We’ll take Apple’s so-called non-exclusive exclusive, thanks. We get to use superior devices with HBO for $20 less per month than those who settle for inferior devices. What’s not to like?
Apple provides HBO with leverage to use against cable and satellite providers – March 13, 2015
HBO Now standalone service exclusive for Apple devices until summer – March 10, 2015
HBO NOW premiers in April for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV – March 9, 2015