HBO Headed to iPad, but Not Netflix
Netflix (NFLX) subscribers hoping to stream HBO series through the company’s Watch Instantly service may have a long time to wait. The deal that would allow them to do so is looking increasingly more unlikely. Evidently HBO would prefer to keep its programming–along with films from Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures to which it holds the rights–to itself. “There is value in exclusivity,” HBO co-president Eric Kessler told Bloomberg. “[People] are willing to pay a premium for high quality, exclusive content.”
Especially if they’re cable subscribers. HBO has about 29 million of them, and they generated $3.9 billion in sales for the company last year. So rather than seek out new distribution outlets–even those willing to pay close to $1 billion for the privilege–the company plans to expand the ones it already has. Soon we’ll see the HBO Go online video service rolled out to all major cable providers and supported on new devices like Apple’s (AAPL) iPad. Which is great for current and future HBO subscribers, but disappointing for folks hoping to do all their video viewing through a single streaming service.