HBO is finally ready to take the wraps off its long-awaited a la carte service. Following up on its HBO Go service — which has been offered as part of the Apple TV service, but has been available only to HBO subscribers — the pay-TV provider is reportedly close to rolling out a service tentatively called HBO Now, which is planned as a true a la carte streaming version of the premium channel.
Bloomberg cites a source who’s familiar with the situation saying that HBO Now will enable consumers to watch HBO content through Apple TV without paying for a cable subscription.
HBO is reportedly negotiating with Apple and Google to distribute the over-the-top service via the Internet.
International Business Times reports that HBO will roll out HBO Now in April. The launch is set to be timed to coincide with the premiere of the fifth season of the HBO hit “Game of Thrones.”
“TiVo Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tom Rogers said in an interview Tuesday that his company, which makes digital video recorders, is in discussions with HBO about distributing the service,” Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg also cites a source saying that HBO “is in talks with other potential distributors, including Cox Communications Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp., which sells high-speed Internet service in some markets.”
Pricing is not set, but the report notes that the price of the Web-distributed version of HBO is likely to be comparable to that of the pay-cable channel, or about $15 a month.
Bloomberg adds: “By offering its channel outside the cable bundle, HBO could prompt more consumers to cut the cord and threaten the TV ecosystem. The move pits HBO directly against online streaming service Netflix Inc., which has more than 57 million subscribers worldwide.”