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HBO said to be planning an April launch of its over-the-top streaming service, in time for the fifth-season premiere of Game of Thrones.
According to International Business Times reporter Michael Learmonth, HBO is in talks with Apple about launching on the tech giant’s Apple TV set-top box next month as one of the launch partners for its rollout. The service will be called HBO Now and will cost $15 a month, per IBT.
HBO declined to address the details in the report. “We know there’s great anticipation around our stand-alone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so,” a statement from the company read. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Apple TV already offers the HBO Go app, which provides cable TV subscribers with access to new episodes of current series such as Girls, Game of Thrones and Veep and catalog content including full seasons of shows such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City.
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced plans for an online streaming service in October last year and said the company was planning a 2015 launch. HBO had tested a similar service in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark with initial success, he said at the time.
In January, Time Warner CFO Howard Averill told the audience at an investor conference that HBO would employ multiple models with the launch of the OTT service, including working with pay TV partners, partnering with new digital distributors and going directly to consumers.
HBO has enlisted the help of Major League Baseball Advanced Media to power streaming on the new service after abandoning plans for an in-house platform code-named Project Maui.
HBO is one of a string of broadcasters looking to reach audiences that are not subscribing to pay TV. CBS launched subscription service CBS All Access last year and NBC is currently in the early stages of developing a stand-alone comedy subscription service.
1:15 p.m., March 4 Updated with statement from HBO.
2:55 p.m., March 4 Updated with statement from Apple.
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