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HBO and Cinemax Going Online With Comcast

HBOHBO (s TWX) and Cinemax will join Comcast’s (s CMSCA) 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 and

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.

16 Responses to “HBO and Cinemax Going Online With Comcast”

    • It’s not televison, it’s HBO :)

      It doesnt matter what method of delivery is used; they still play the SAME 60 movies over and over and over again.

      Apparently, someone in charge of programming has never seen a movie made before 1978 and therefore they do not exist.

      How many times does one really need to see, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games” and whatever other Tom Clancy novel has been transferred to film?

  1. Wizeguy

    I’m amazed that I looked all over this site and all I see is the same old video stuff you get all over the web. I came accross a press release a few weeks ago on Market Watch. It’s going to be the next big thing “Live as Broadcast Cable TV” wireless from one website on your computer. It is being BETA tested right now all you get is 4 channels but the launch will be 50 to 100. It will have VOD, HBO, SHOWTIME, MAX, USA,TNT, A & E etc even the networks ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX. Interactive, Picture in Picture, Tweet and more. Check it out for your self.

    ZapMyTV Enters Into VOD and SVOD License Agreement with Paramount Digital Entertainment

  2. joshua

    When you say “freeloaders,” Chris, you mean “non-subscribers” right? I agree with Javier – online delivery would seem most effective as a way to expand HBO’s audience, tiering it, even. Especially given the fact subscriber numbers are reportedly relatively stable (

  3. Javier

    This is a little bit of a step forward, but they should create an internet subscription for the once that don’t have comcast HBO/Cinemax service… The idea of going into the Internet should be to expand your market, not to just give the same content to people who are already seeing it in TV and already paying for it… big companies need to start thinking, and not be scared of the Internet as a distribution platform… don’t you think?

    • Chris Albrecht

      @Javier, I see this as a baby step as well. But this is all new for everyone, you can’t just expect HBO and Comcast to immediately drop their legacy systems. This will continue to evolve and they will evolve more quickly as people get more comfortable with new scenarios.