HBO Standalone Internet Service Dubbed ‘HBO Now,’ Network in Talks with Apple: Report

HBO’s forthcoming over-the-top online video service will be called HBO Now, and it’s expected to launch sometime this spring — potentially with Apple as one of its initial partners.

The premium cabler is currently in talks with Apple, angling to make the Apple TV device one of the devices the HBO Now service will be available at launch, according to IBTimes.com. But that’s to be expected: The HBO Go online service for pay-TV subs is currently available on Apple TV, as well as a slew of other connected devices, so obviously the network is negotiating with all of its current tech partners on the new service.

[Update: HBO also is in talks with Google, presumably about adding access to HBO Now to the Google device lineup that includes the Chromecast, Bloomberg reported. In addition, TiVo said it is discussing a tie-up with the network for the service.]

HBO has set an internal launch date for the service of mid-April, timed with the debut of “Game of Thrones” season five, as has been previously reported. However, there is no guarantee the cabler will hit that target, and sources familiar with HBO’s plans say that date may move.

HBO said in a statement, “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so.” Apple declined to comment.

In December, HBO chief technology officer Otto Berkes resigned after the network decided to enlist Major League Baseball Advanced Media to build its over-the-top streaming service instead of developing it inhouse.

Last fall, HBO said it would launch a standalone OTT service in 2015. But so far, there have not been any confirmed details on what the pricing of the service might be (widely expected to be $15, according to industry speculation), nor what the content included will be. Meanwhile, it’s still not clear if HBO Now will be available to consumers only via broadband providers in a bundled offering — or if anyone with a high-speed Internet connection could sign up.

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