Two of the last major cable provider holdouts have finally agreed to carry HBO's online streaming video service. Earlier today, Cablevision announced that it has reached a deal that will bring HBO GO, a service that allows the channel's subscribers to access its content on the computers and mobile devices of its roughly 3.3 million customers in the next few months. The news comes on the heels of the announcement late last week that Time Warner Cable is also bringing the service to its over 12 million video customers starting next month.
“Cablevision shares an appreciation for TV everywhere and therefore recognizes the incredible value HBO GO adds to the HBO subscription," said Eric Kessler co-president of HBO, in a statement. "With the addition of their . . . customers, HBO GO will now be available to 98 percent of HBO subscribers.”
HBO GO was launched in February 2010 as a free extension of the channel's television offerings. The service allows paying HBO subscribers to log in with identifying information from their cable providers for access to HBO video content online. While most of the major cable providers, including Cox, Verizon FiOS, and Comcast, signed on to carry the service in the months following its launch, Cablevision and Time Warner were two that did not, much to the consternation of some customers. Sources with knowledge of the negotiations say that there wasn't just one sticking point that dragged the discussions with Cablevision and Time Warner to this point, but that the delay had more to do with the cable providers' caution in making sure that the service dovetailed with their broader digital strategies.