Light Reading

Apple TV Set to Land HBO GO

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • Apple Inc. is in talks to add HBO GO, the premium programmer's authenticated TV Everywhere service, to the Apple TV app platform by mid-year, reports Bloomberg. Nobody's confirmed that any such deal is about to pop, though HBO at least hinted a bit, telling AllThingsD that it wants to offer GO on all "preferred platforms so we are always having discussions with a variety of companies." The addition would flesh out the availability of HBO GO, an app already supported on iPads, PCs, Roku Inc. boxes and the Xbox 360, and would position Apple's streaming platform to offer a broader slate of premium content that's already available on competing devices (word of the anticipated partnership will likely also spur yet another round of rumors about the mythical Apple television). Because it's authenticated, HBO GO is only available to consumers who get HBO via a pay-TV service operator. HBO, however, is trying a pure over-the-top (OTT) distribution model in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland via the HBO Nordic joint venture. (See HBO Goes Nordic.)
  • Brightcove Inc. buried this big announcement in its fourth-quarter earnings: Jeremy Allaire is stepping down as CEO and being succeeded by David Mendels, currently the Web video publishing firm's president and COO and a former Adobe Systems Inc. exec. Allaire will keep his hand in as executive chairman at the start of the second quarter of 2013. The transition comes almost a year after Brightcove went public. Brightcove posted a fourth-quarter net loss of US$4.7 million (17 cents per share) on revenues of $24.3 million, up 31 percent on a year ago. (See Brightcove Raises $55M in Nasdaq Debut.)
  • DirecTV Group Inc. has bought a stake (the amount was not disclosed) in FreeWheel Media Inc. and will be using the vendor's platform to insert ads and drive more revenues from its multi-screen TV Everywhere service. DirecTV expects to add those capabilities later this year.
  • Top telecom analyst Craig Moffett has resigned his post at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. and is considering starting his own firm, Bloomberg first reported Thursday. Moffett, who has touted cable stocks such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. during his decade at the company, later confirmed to Multichannel News that Jan. 31 was his last day with the research outfit, but didn't elaborate on his long-term plans.
  • The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has fired CNET as its partner for the Consumer Electronics awards, and has reinstated Dish Network Corp.'s new Sling-loaded Hopper HD-DVR with Best of Show honors. The whole thing came to a head after CNET removed the Hopper for consideration after getting pressure from parent company CBS Corp., which is entangled in a lawsuit with Dish over a Hopper feature that lets users skip ads in recorded prime-time programming from the big broadcasters. (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    2/1/2013 | 9:26:16 PM
    re: Apple TV Set to Land HBO GO
    It would be an interesting move for Apple because it puts them a step closer to the pay-TV ecosystem, though it really is just a-áme-too offering that should make existing Apple TV owners happy... but probably not-á enough for alot of pepole to go out and buy yet another-ástreaming device if they're already got a Roku or Xbox 360. JB
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