Sling TV becomes first Internet TV service to offer HBO

There is no set date for when it will be available, only that it will before the GoT premiere

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 1, 2015
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(Updated with comment from HBO)

It seems like HBO really wants you to cut that cord. Every week it keeps giving users another way to watch its service without having to sign up for cable.

After entering into deals with Apple and Cablevision for its new stand-alone HBO Now service, the company has just entered into a deal with Dish's new Sling TV to give even more people access to HBO.

Announced in January, Sling TV is a Web-TV service, which allows subscribers to watch certain cable networks on their computers for less money per month. It costs $20 a month and gives subscribers access to 12 different Disney and Turner channels, such as Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network and, most importantly, ESPN. It will also include best of online video with content from Maker Studios.

With this new deal, customers can sign up for the “Best of Live TV” package, for an additional $15 a month, in order to get access to HBO. That includes one live channel, as well as its Video-On-Demand (VOD) content, which makes Sling the first live Internet TV service to offer linear and VOD content from HBO.

The details about when this will be available are undisclosed right now, but the company did say that customers would have access to HBO in time for the “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley” season premieres on April 12. 

Sling TV with HBO will be available on all devices supported by Sling TV, which include Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick; current-generation Roku players and Roku TV models; Xbox One; Android and iOS devices; and Macs and PCs.

Some might be a little confused by that last detail, as, last month, Apple was revealed to be the exclusive launch partner for HBO Now, which means that users will be able to stream HBO through their web browser, but not through any other streaming box, at least for the time being.

The reason that Sling TV can also stream HBO through its own set-top boxes is because what users are getting access to is not HBO Now; instead they are getting access to a live stream of HBO, plus the VOD library.

The deal with Sling does seem to undercut that exclusive deal with Apple, though, given that Sling customers can get everything they can from HBO Now, plus an additional live channel of HBO, for the same price. The only drawback is that anyone who is not already a Sling TV subscriber would actually wind up paying $35 just to get HBO. For existing customers, though, there is no reason to sign up for HBO Now. 


"We want to make HBO available to consumers in any way they desire.  For some it will be through a pay-TV package or within the Sling TV offering while others may prefer HBO NOW.  Each offers a unique value proposition," an HBO spokesperson told VatorNews.


HBO also entered into an agreement with Cablevision earlier this month, to allow subscribers to Cablevision's broadband subscribers to access HBO Now, making it the first Pay TV provider to offer HBO Now through its broadband service.

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