Subscribing to HBO Now will be a little more difficult than we first thought. Instead of allowing anyone with an Internet connection to sign-up—you know, like Netflix—cord cutters will have to seek out an HBO partner before gaining access to the service.
Apple is an exclusive early partner at launch, though only in the “non-pay TV” space. Cablevision, meanwhile, announced on Monday that it’ll be the first cable provider to offer HBO Now subscriptions through its Optimum Internet service. No details were revealed by Cablevision, so pricing, release date and other information is still unknown. However, it’s one of HBO’s early partners, giving folks in the New York area access to the premium channel’s standalone service.
Once Apple’s exclusivity period ends later this year, other set-top boxes will hopefully offer access to HBO Now. HBO also revealed to The Verge that more major cable partners should be announced soon, so access will definitely spread beyond Optimum Internet in the months to come. HBO has been offered as an à la carte option through cable partners before, though that was limited in scope.
Unfortunately, cord cutters won’t be able to sign up directly through HBO, which is disappointing to say the least; that could change down the road, but don’t count on it. Apple will offer HBO Now through devices like the Apple TV for $14.99 per month in early April, though it’s unclear if Cablevision’s pricing will fall in at the same price.