Everything, absolutely EVERYTHING that I have posted on here, on my Twitter page, and seen on our Facebook page for the past 6 months or more has been met with the same followup questions:
- When are you getting HBO Go?
- Why don’t you have HBO Go?
- How is it that you don’t have HBO Go?
- Who is holding up a deal to offer HBO Go?
- What are you trying to pull, not offering HBO Go?
And my favorite: “Any updates on HBO GO®? Do you have it yet?” as though this person has just returned from the island on “Lost.” Or thinks I am going to say “Duuude, riiiiight. I almost forgot! We totally signed a deal with HBO GO® last week and I FORGOT TO MENTION IT TO ANYONE.”
To be fair, all of the previous questions — except for my “favorite” one — are completely fair. And it’s natural to be antsy about this. HBO GO® is one of the coolest streaming tv apps out there, from the company that revolutionized TV by bringing cinematic storytelling and nuanced characters to a serialized format. And it has taken a really, really long time to reach a deal.
Unfortunately, I can’t comment on any of the particulars or hurdles. There are NDAs and business relationships to preserve, and I don’t even know the answers to the questions listed above in the first place.
Except that first one: “When are you getting a deal with HBO GO®?”
The answer is: AFTER MONTHS OF NEGOTIATING, WE JUST SIGNED A DEAL WITH HBO GO®
From our press release (click link for the whole thing):
Time Warner Cable today announced the upcoming launch of HBO’s authenticated online video destinations, HBO GO® and MAX GO®. The companies will run a brief beta trial and then the service is expected to launch to all Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to HBO in the next month. Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to HBO and/or Cinemax will have free, unlimited access to the corresponding online services at any time, on any computer in the U.S. with a high-speed Internet connection, as well as a host of other devices, including the iPad®.
“HBO GO has been a tremendous success with our subscribers,” said Eric Kessler, co-President of HBO. “We’re happy that Time Warner Cable customers will be able to enjoy this great product which provides streaming of HBO’s programming library.”
”We’re very pleased to have completed an agreement that’s good for our customers,” said Susan Weinstein, Group Vice President, Content Acquisition for Time Warner Cable. “HBO and Cinemax offer unique and compelling programming for our customers, and soon they’ll be able to access it all the time and anywhere.”
With the online services, Time Warner Cable customers get most new titles simultaneously with their premiere on the networks; the ability to create a “Watchlist” that keeps track of bookmarked content for later viewing; bonus content including interviews, recaps, and behind-the-scenes extras; and customizable views showing titles in slideshow, grid or list format. In addition, HBO GO can be personalized through a “Series Pass®” capability which automatically alerts viewers to new episodes of favorite HBO programs when they arrive on the service.
I’d like to highlight something from the press release pull-quote above:
Before we can offer this to every single customer, we need to work with HBO to run a short beta trial.
Every company’s tech infrastructure is different, and tweaks need to happen to keep things running smoothly for everyone. Every single other MSO has had to go through the same beta experience. And if this gets people up and running and watching “The Wire” smoothly on their iPads, we’re happy to comply.
We are working with HBO and our internal tech teams right now to determine the parameters of that beta trial, and will absolutely announce more specific details as soon as we can.
Once started, that beta trial should be overwith very quickly, and our customers will be streaming all of their favorite HBO shows shortly thereafter. Which is great for all of us. That’s when the weather gets the worst, and you just want to stay under the covers and watch the Sopranos again.
Now we can help that happen, and I can’t tell you how glad I am to deliver that message.