Apple reportedly in negotiations to have HBO Go on Apple TV

Apple reportedly in negotiations to have HBO Go on Apple TV

Apple and HBO are engaged in talks to bring the pay-TV channel's HBO Go service to the Apple TV set-top box, according to a new report from Bloomberg. While many modern media distribution companies like Hulu and Netflix have embraced Apple TV, the more traditional outlets like the big broadcast channels and pay channels like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax have been more hesitant in their overtures. While most have apps available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, the fact that the Apple TV is hooked up to a television - their turf - has always been a source of tension.

Citing two persons "familiar with the plans", Bloomberg says that using HBO Go on the Apple TV will be contingent on the user already paying for HBO through their cable or satellite provider. Yeah, that dashed our hopes for getting A Game of Thrones to stream on our Apple TV without having to pay the cable company for TV service as well.

HBO Go has been available for some time on competing devices like the Roku box and Microsoft's Xbox 360. As with the HBO Go iPhone and iPad apps, HBO Go is available for free on those devices to subscribers already paying for HBO television service. Apple has yet to offer any service on the Apple TV that requires such authentication; HBO Go would be the first Apple TV service to be dependent on an outside subscription. Up to this point Apple TV services that require a subscription like Netflix and Hulu Plus have offered that subscription through your iTunes account. Complete cord-cutting is still a ways off, it seems.

Source: Bloomberg

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

Apple reportedly in negotiations to have HBO Go on Apple TV


I feel this would be awesome without this line:
"contingent on the user already paying for HBO through their cable or satellite provider"

I want HBO without paying for extra channels I don't need.

Exactly. I already pay for NetFlix and Hulu so I don't need the rest. If HBO wants my money, they need to provide the same kind of service.

$50 a month, for Netflix, Hulu (although I don't like how they have highly limited content in their past), HBOGo, Showtime, and CineMax? I think that'd be great, Netflix and Hulu are like $8 each, so $34 for HBO, ShowTime, and Cinemax to split? That's just over $10 each.

I think the Cable Providers don't want it as then we'll see how much they're over-charging, and they'll have to actually compete then.

Cable companies don't just pull number out of their asses and make people pay for channels they don't want.
Cables companies are held hostage by Disney, Viacom, and others to pay over priced prices to deliver content to their customers (remember the whole viacom fiasco with directv). For instance I know of a cable company (in which I work for) that pays ESPN $4.75 per customer, whether they have that channel or not so that means the people who do pay for ESPN has to make for the difference for customers who have basic TV.

I'm tired of people ragging on the cable and satellite companies when it's really the networks who are demanding the high prices.

Also HBO is hesitant on making a stand alone platform because they risk loosing the billions of dollars they get from TV providers. Smarten up people

Yes, that sucks. But, agreements are signed by both sides. If you know that ESPN charges $4.75 per customer, and can say it here, can't your Cable company say "We'd love to cut $4.75 off your bill bobbob1016 as you don't have ESPN, but they're forcing us to pay them for it either way?" I, along with other non-ESPN watchers would rally at ESPN over it. They can point anger, with documentation of course, because ESPN could then say it's Cable Company's fault.

ESPN would just pull their content and millions would leave for another service who does pay the money to ESPN. It's extortion.

It's the same with every other channel.

So lets stop bashing TV providers, your money goes to the networks.

On a second note...what do you need in order for your hulu and netflix and hbogo to work? YOUR INTERNET! You don't think the cable providers don't see that? You don't think they adjust data prices to compensate for the loos of cable subscribers? lol you people really think your beating the system>?

ESPN would pull their stuff, and go elsewhere? What if the Cable companies had to compete, and to be competitive, they all got together, and told ESPN that if they didn't want to pay $4.75 each. Then ESPN would go to the web, sure, but they wouldn't get as many subscribers, so they'd be hurting.

Everyone has Cable for their internet, right? I mean everyone? Last I checked, AT&T isn't "cable", nor is Google Fiber (albeit only in two cities at the moment), I have a wireless 50mbps company here, and there's always Clear or something like it, although they have caps, so Clear isn't really feasible. One could even argue that this'd be better for Cable companies internet-wise.

New paragraph to explain how Cable companies would wind up saving money if everyone just had HBO on their ATV without Cable TV. A sizable portion of the internet would just torrent "Game of Thrones" rather than pay this price. Yes, it's illegal, but it's done. Now, torrents are messy on their network, I think a lot of these torrenters would pay $X a month to see it without worrying about downloading it. Wouldn't it be more cost effective for Cable Co to have said person get one stream per show, as opposed to a larger number to torrent? I mean, they say torrents are wreaking havoc on their network.

Also, less calls to tech support over "My DVR isn't working" saves money. For others, they could say, "Well, we're not Apple, and you're watching on an AppleTV, so call Apple or HBO."

Tl, dr; where would ESPN go if *no* cable company took their garbage charge for each customer no matter what? And losing a few people to HBO streaming as data vs a channel is cheaper than them torrenting. Less money would go to supporting DVRs too.

You can't use HBO Go for free on Xbox. You have to have a membership to Xbox live or whatever its called. I just do the free stuff on the xbox and don't have a subscription service with them and It said I had to sign up for one. Just FYI.

I would pay the $10 a month to just have HBO Go without having all the rest of the cable channels. If only HBO would wise up they could probably pick up a lot more subscribers...

Good sign but wake me up when they have beIN, Fox Soccer, Fox Sports, Versus, Food Network, the Cooking Channel, some hunting channels...

I'd love this. HBO Go and Xfinity tv are the reasons I haven't cut the cord. It's too awesomely packed with content, on-demand.

I understand the benefit of an iOS app, but if you already subscribe to cable and HBO on your TV, where you also watch your Apple TV, what is the benefit?

More of an On Demand option or just that you can use it on a TV without a cable box?