Cablevision Signs On with HBO Go and MAX Go
Time Warner Cable announced just a few days ago that they were going to start offering HBO Go and MAX Go access to their subscribers. Today, Cablevision announced that they too are going to start offering HBO Go and MAX Go to their subscribers. HBO will undoubtedly continue to pursue deals with the myriad regional and line-lease cable providers around the country, but Cablevision was the last of the major U.S. cable TV providers still holding out on HBO. Time Warner Cable's decision to sign on with HBO most likely played a role in Cablevision's decision given that the two companies vie for the same New England markets, particularly the highly lucrative New York market.
With Time Warner Cable and Cablevision on board, HBO Go is now available on all the major cable and IPTV operators, fulfilling the network’s quest to offer unfettered access to its content. HBO co-president Eric Kessler wrote in a statement that the service will soon be available to 98 percent of the network’s subscribers.
HBO still has work ahead getting all of the cable companies to open access to HBO Go for over-the-top devices such as the Roku 2 and Xbox 360, and there is no word whether Cablevision will follow Comcast's lead in blocking device access, but this is another step in establishing HBO as a major streaming service that might compete with Amazon or Netflix. Cable companies have been reluctant to sign on with HBO Go because they fear that the streaming service might detract from the value of the cable channel that they depend on for a large part of their revenues, but the symbiotic nature of the HBO/cable TV relationship might ultimately make HBO an unlikely hero for the cable TV providers looking for a way to compete with pure streaming services such as Netflix without raising the ire of antitrust regulators.