By all accounts, Comcast and HBO are close to striking a deal that allows the HBO Go app to stream for Xfinity customers over the Xbox gaming console. Whenever it is that the deal gets sealed — reportedly some time this week — it won’t be too soon for users, including Netflix honcho Reed Hastings.
“I want my HBO Go,” Hastings posted on Facebook. “When I try to use HBO Go on my Xbox or on my Roku, I find that Comcast is blocking HBO Go.” That’s funny, considering who Hastings is. Netflix sees HBO as a major competitor, even launching its own original programming to compete — which makes this appeal come off like the Giants coach pulling for a Patriots win. And yet, there it is: “I’m paying you a lot of money for HBO,” Hastings wrote. “So please let me watch HBO Go on my TV.”
What gummed up the works was Comcast. The company exempts its own streamed programming from customers’ broadband data caps. This is something it can’t do with third-party apps. But its refusal to permit access to HBO Go on set-top boxes and consoles is drawing a lot of negative feedback from paid subscribers who want to stream via HBO’s app. Its content is more robust than the measly offerings from Xfinity streaming, with a comprehensive catalog of present and past HBO shows, as well as movies, specials and boxing. And, to be honest, it’s all housed in a much sexier interface.
It could all be water under the bridge soon, though. And hopefully, it will lead to some benefit for Xfinity users on other TV platforms too. Which reminds me… um, while you’re at it, Comcast, think you could stop holding Xfinity-Roku users hostage too? That would be swell.
[via The New York Times]
For a look at HBO Go on the Xbox 360, check out Joey Davidson as he takes it for a spin (below).