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Two years after HBO started a small trial of HBO Broadband, the Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) premium net is going live with HBO GO on Verizon FiOS. Through HBOGo.com, Verizon FiOS subscribers who also get HBO (the companies won’t release that number) will be able to watch 600-plus hours of original series, movies and more with a Mac or PC and a broadband connection anywhere in the U.S. They have to subscribe to both FiOS TV and FiOS Internet. HBO and Verizon are also in discussions about a mobile version for Android.
HBO isn’t the first multi-platform premium network for FiOS; Verizon was the first to offer new net Epix and already has Starz, both with broadband. Epix and Starz compete more directly as movie services — and soon there will be more competition in that space: HBO Co-President Eric Kessler told paidContent in a video interview after the press briefing, Cinemax Go is on the way.
The same programming is already available to Comcast-HBO subs through the Fancast Xfinity portal but this marks the launch of HBO’s own experience with its branding and its own player. Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) is the exception among HBO customers; others are expected to use HBOGo.com.
The service works for up to three simultaneous users on the same Verizon household account; the authentication process uses the same logins they have for FiOS. The amount of video being offered far exceeds HBO on Demand, which has 150 hours; 25 percent of the content is refreshed every week. The amount of hours coupled with the HBO library means the network can offer unprecedented access to some shows. For instance, every episode of The Wire is instantly available. Next month, it could be The Sopranos.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for HBO to morph HBO Go in to a separate product. Kessler explains why that isn’t going to happen in the video below.