HBO’s luck may have run out Wednesday on its big Dustin Hoffman-led horse-racing drama, but it remains full speed ahead for the pay cable network’s online distribution platform, HBO Go.
On the same day that HBO announced the surprise cancellation of its high-profile original series Luck due to a series of on-set horse-related tragedies, its Go service rolled out on Cablevision (NYSE: CVC). With HBO Go — and sibling Cinemax platform Max Go — rolling out on the nation’s ninth-biggest cable system, the platforms are now distributed to 98 percent of pay TV subscribers in the U.S.
HBO Go and Max Go allow those who subscribe to HBO and Cinemax, as well as participating cable, satellite and telco TV systems, to access HBO and Cinemax content through personal computers and iOS mobile devices. And the Cablevision launch is the last major cog in the rollout of the platform.
HBO has been among the more aggressive content companies when it comes to TV Everywhere initiatives, which involve striking a series of fairly complex deals. Each and every content conglomerate has to sign authentication deals with each and every major cable operator, and almost no one has cleared its authentication deals across as many cable operators as HBO. Among pay cable competition, Showtime is just getting ramped up with its “Anytime” authentication service. Starz, meanwhile, is still in the development stage for its multi-device platform. As of January, HBO had 29 million subscribers; it has yet to say how many of those subs also get Go.
For its part, Cablevision is including HBO Go in a newly created online destination that will house all of its other initiatives related to TV Everywhere, the cable-industry-wide effort to expand its model to internet and mobile distribution. Subscribers to Cablevision services can visit www.optimum.net/TVtoGo and download TV Everywhere apps for 12 different channels, including Turner Networks properties CNN, TBS, TNT, trueTV, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.