HBO and Cinemax Going Online With Comcast

HBOHBO and Cinemax will join Comcast’s OnDemand Online trial this summer, giving the cable company’s authentication scheme a high-profile partner. As part of the agreement, 750 hours of content from the two networks will be made available through Comcast.net and Fancast.com.

According to the press release, at launch the content available will include:

  1. Full-length episodes of current and classic HBO series like True Blood, Hung, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Real Time with Bill Maher.
  2. Popular theatrical movies including Transformers, The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Atonement, Brokeback Mountain, Michael Clayton, Shrek the Third, Kung Fu Panda, Get Smart, The Bourne Ultimatum, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Titles coming soon include: Juno, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who, Mamma Mia! and Burn After Reading.
  3. Top classic films such as Jurassic Park, Big, Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed and Rosemary’s Baby.
  4. HBO Family programming including enduring favorites like Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Additionally, select content will be made available online in HD. Curiously, the release says, “Customers will be able to view certain new programs online immediately after they air on television,” so it looks like the windowing could vary from program to program.

Before freeloaders get all excited, you’ll have to have an existing subscription to HBO or Cinemax through Comcast to access the programming. The good news is that online viewing will be wrapped into your existing HBO/Cinemax subscription, so online access will not cost you extra. However, the content that’s available will cycle through, so it’s not like you’re getting access to all of HBO’s video library at any one time.

In January 2008, HBO began testing a more complicated broadband strategy — but thankfully this one seems more straightforward.

This is the second premium pay cable TV network that Comcast has signed up for OnDemand Online following the addition of Starz last week. Other cable networks onboard include TBS and TNT. Comcast’s OnDemand Online trial is set to begin with 5,000 customers in the U.S. “in the coming weeks.”

For more on OnDemand Online and video authentication plans in general, check out Everything You Need to Know About TV Everywhere.

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