HBO to start streaming its programming
Tuesday 03 May 2011
Over the last few weeks, video-on-demand has been added to cable television systems and satellite networks at a feverish pace, and now HBO, the subscription premium channel, has launched its own VOD service, HBO Go.
Launched May 2, HBO Go will offer the network's programs, including Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos, and is available on smartphones and tablets, including the iPad, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Satellite services and cable networks are making deals with film studios for the rights to show films on demand; Facebook has also posted films, and YouTube will be launching VOD.
Following the lead of Netflix, which made the switch to streaming films instead of only DVD rentals, the industry is embracing digital viewing of films and television shows for a fee to offset costs due to declining sales and DVD rentals.
Some cable systems, such as Comcast, have obtained rights to films for a 60-day window, causing concern with theater owners that it is too short a period of time. A group of filmmakers, including James Cameron, have voiced support for the cinemas.
This move to digital viewing is seen as a way for HBO to gain a younger audience, especially with the mobile on-demand service. HBO and its affiliated channel Cinemax lost 1.6 million subscribers in 2010.
The service will be available as part of a subscription to the cable channel, on some but not all cable systems. Many HBO programs are currently available on Amazon and on iTunes.
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