After a three-month beta test, Charter Communications on Thursday launched HBO's "TV Everywhere" services for customers who subscribe to HBO, Cinemax or both -- leaving Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems the last major providers not offering HBO Go and MAX Go.
HBO Go and MAX Go provide unlimited online access to any broadband-connected computer in the U.S. as well as on the iPhone, iPad and certain Android devices to subscribers of HBO and Cinemax, respectively.
In late April, Charter launched a beta of the HBO TV Everywhere services, sending e-mail invitations to a small number of subscribers to participate in a test.
HBO Go provides access to more than 1,400 titles online, including every episode of every season of the HBO shows, as well as the network's films, miniseries, documentaries and sports. MAX Go delivers more than 400 titles of Cinemax programming online, including the MAX After Dark series. Most new titles are available simultaneously with their premiere on HBO and Cinemax.
Last month, HBO CEO Bill Nelson said the programmer was close to securing TV Everywhere deals with Cablevision and TWC. "We're in negotiations with Time Warner Cable. I'm optimistic that we will conclude in the next couple of weeks," Nelson said at a June 2 investment conference. He said HBO was not as far along with Cablevision.
The HBO Go and MAX Go services are designed as an incentive to keep pay-TV subscribers paying for HBO and Cinemax services through their cable, satellite or telco TV provider, rather than turning to an Internet-delivered alternative such as Netflix.
To view online, Charter's HBO and Cinemax viewers can go to hbogo.com and maxgo.com -- or charter.net/hbo and charter.net/cinema -- and sign in with their Charter user ID and password, make their selections and view.
"Charter is taking another step to bring quality video content to our customers when they want it and where they want it," Charter vice president of Web technology and customer experience Marti Moore said. "If you're not home for the latest episode of a favorite series or an anticipated new release, you can now watch while you're on the go. The convenience of DVRs and on demand capabilities were just the beginning."
Charter has different levels of bandwidth thresholds for broadband subscribers, and usage of HBO Go and MAX Go will count toward those limits.
The MSO's policy allows 100 Gigabytes of data usage per month for customers subscribing to Lite and Express services; 250 GB of bandwidth per month for customers subscribing to Plus and Max services; and 500 GB per month for Ultra60 service. Repeat offenders potentially face disconnection.