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Summary:

Time Warner and Apple are negotiating over bringing the pay TV service HBO Go to Apple TV by mid-2013, according to a Bloomberg report.

hbo go

Two years after arriving in iOS devices, HBO may be coming to Apple TV. Apple is said to be in talks with Time Warner to bring its HBO Go app to its set-top box, according to a report from Bloomberg on Thursday. It could arrive by sometime around the middle of this year.

HBO Go, which requires a subscription, is only available to users who get HBO from their cable provider, so it’s not a solution for cord cutters to simply pay for à la carte HBO programming separate from cable or satellite. But it’s a boon for HBO subscribers who want to access the provider’s backlog of content: HBO Go makes every episode of every season of every HBO show available to subscribers.

Apple has been reportedly in discussion with U.S. cable companies, including Time Warner, for many months about ways to bring cable content to its set-top box. The news that HBO Go could arrive by mid-2013 is the most significant sign yet that the two are making headway in the negotiations.

This would not be the first time Time Warner has made HBO Go available on a set-top: it’s already on Roku set-top boxes and on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. Neither is it a first for Apple customers. HBO Go has been available as an app on the iOS App Store since 2011.

But it would be a possible selling point for Apple as it continues to figure out its television strategy. Though the company sold two million set-top boxes during the final quarter of 2012, the company’s leadership won’t commit publicly to what the future holds for the device. CEO Tim Cook has moved from calling Apple TV a hobby to “an area of intense interest.”

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  1. In parts of Europe you can get HBO without getting cable first, such as here in Finland. It is already built in as an app on Samsung TVs, butmhaving it in Apple TV would actually make Apple’s product much more interesting.

    Although why Apple doesn’t just allow a video service App Store is beyond me. Then any provider can do whatever they feel like, Apple potentially gets a 30% cut of subscriptions, and there are no conflicts of interest.

  2. Saul Tannenbaum Saturday, February 2, 2013

    The whole “Cable Everywhere” strategy – the one that uses your cable authentication to permit streaming – seemingly has given content owners the confidence to allow their programming to appear on new devices. But it also locks in a monopolistic business model. HBO GO on an Apple TV shouldn’t be covered as great news for Apple TV owners, it should be covered as another bulwark in the effort to prevent actually competition in the packaging and delivery of content.

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