Tencent Scores Exclusive Deal To Stream HBO Content In China

Read original story on: Hollywood Reporter

HBO and Tencent have unveiled an exclusive content deal that will make the Chinese Internet giant’s streaming service the official online home of HBO films and series in the country. As Chinese officials continue the crack down on popular pirated-video websites, China’s major online video sites, including Sohu, Youku and Baidu Video, are reportedly locked in a billion-dollar battle for legally hosting foreign shows. Tencent might have gained a valuable head start with this deal, but it still remains to be seen how much censorship will be imposed on HBO’s mature content.

Analyst: Standalone HBOGo Could Bring In $600 Million Per Year

According to a report from Barclays Capital, if HBO offered its streaming service as a standalone online service, it could theoretically bring in $600 million of annual revenue for the premium channel. The analysis lays out a couple of different ways that HBO could this without angering its cable-provider partners, the major opponents of HBO selling its programming online. As the OTT market continues to rise, it might be time that HBO seriously consider meeting this popular demand.

Update 10/15/2014: HBO CEO Richard Plepler has confirmed the company plans to launch a “standalone, over-the-top” HBO Go subscription offering at some point in 2015.

HBO Comes To Amazon

As Amazon announced earlier this year, several HBO shows are now available through Amazon Prime Instant Video. Starting today, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you’ll have access to shows like “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” and more. For newer shows, only early seasons are available as HBO looks to maintain its HBO Go exclusivity. Though users won’t have access to the later episodes, it gives Amazon a significant leg up over streaming video competitors Netflix. 

HBO Shows Now Available On Amazon

In a move that signals their intention to cater to cordcutters, this May Amazon Prime Instant Video will offer some of HBO’s reporting. This represents a pretty significant shift for HBO, who previously touted their exclusive HBO Go service as the only way to find their shows. That said, the new library does not include any new series until three years after they air. And much of HBO’s coveted bak catalog of shows like “Sex and The City,” and “Entourage,” are still stuck in syndication webs. Nonetheless, if you don’t want to pay for cable and still want HBO, your options are vastly expanding. And for cordcutters, it means that their options for getting quality program beyond the traditional cable networks are expanding daily. 

HBO Go Comes To PS3

Though much of the tech world might have moved on to PS4 and Xbox One, many consumers still utilize and will continue to purchase PS3’s and Xbox 360’s – if for the price more than anything else. So to target the streaming, console-owning market, content providers will have to provide some backwards compatibility. This is exactly what HBO has done today, as it announced that its HBO Go app will finally be available on PS3. Though it’s still working on apps for the next-gen consoles, those will surely come soon. And when they do, it will mean that HBO’s exclusive and well-developed second screen content will be readily accessible to gamers and and cord-cutters alike. It’s a sign that the networks are finally beginning to understand that untethering their content from the traditional models of cable and set-top-boxes is something that consumers are not only asking for, but accepting with open arms. 

HBO Go Chromecast Support Arrives

Rumors of Chromecast support for the HBO Go app are now a reality, as both iOS and Android support wireless streaming of HBO content to the Chromecast device. Google announced that you can also cast from the Chrome browser, but streaming from Chrome simply casts the image onto the screen, whereas casting from mobile or tablet pulls the data from the cloud; that is to say, casting from Chrome relies on the computer’s resources, while casting from mobile or tablet pulls data from the Internet. It’s an interesting way of streaming content, and continues to prove the vitality and popularity of the new technology. 

Netflix Adds 1.3 Million New US Subscribers In Q3

Netflix published it’s third quarter numbers yesterday, and beat expectations with a revenue of $1.11 billion. It also added 1.3 million new domestic subscribers, which brings its total subscriber-base to 31.1 million, up and over rival HBO. It’s stock, as well, is up to record highs, increasing in value to $352 per share. And it’s up even more in trading from after hours yesterday and today. It’s not just successful in the US, however. The streaming company has increased expansion in Latin America, the UK, and the Netherlands. In addition, Netflix is pumping more money into original content after signing a deal with Marvel, and committing to more seasons of its award-winning shows, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. 

HBO Go To Stream Live Sports By Year End

One of the major downsides to advanced TV platforms has been the lack of live programming, specifically around sports games and other tentpole events like the Oscars. The real-time nature of these programs is paramount and is often not available from players like Roku or Xbox. Yet, recent news indicates that this may no longer be the case.

HBO Go has announced that they will offer live sports streaming by the year end. HBO Go has already been a colossal success and this new feature would likely make it an even more attractive offer. Currently, live streaming has been offered by cable networks for large events like NBC Olympic coverage, but HBO and others providers are expanding this online model to more regular programming as well.