Time Warner Inc.'s HBO will provide some 750 hours of movies and original series to Comcast's On-Demand Online trial, becoming the latest programmer to sign on to the cable operator's 5,000-home Internet video-on-demand test.
HBO's participation comes on the heels of the announcement that Starz Entertainment will deliver about 300 movies and original shows for On-Demand Online.
HBO, in conjunction with Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin division, last year launched one of the first trials of the "authentication" concept.
Initially, as with the other content Comcast is planning to offer through On-Demand Online, HBO and Cinemax broadband services will be available via Comcast.net and Fancast.com. Other programmers expected to participate include Time Warner Inc.'s TNT and TBS, Rainbow Media, Scripps Networks, A&E Television Networks and Comcast Networks.
At launch, the HBO and Cinemax broadband services are set to include: full-length episodes of current and older HBO series like True Blood, Hung, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Real Time with Bill Maher; movies including Transformers, The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Atonement, Brokeback Mountain, Michael Clayton, Shrek the Third, Kung Fu Panda, Get Smart, The Bourne Ultimatum, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Jurassic Park, Big, Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed and Rosemary's Baby.
HBO said titles coming soon will include Juno, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who, Mama Mia! and Burn After Reading.
Customers will be able to view some new programs online immediately after they air on HBO and Cinemax, the companies said. Following the launch, HBO and Cinemax programming will be "updated frequently," and will eventually include programs in HD format.
"On the heels of the TV Everywhere agreement between Time Warner and Comcast, we're pleased to be partnering with Comcast to deliver our HBO and Cinemax broadband services on a national level," HBO co-president Eric Kessler said in announcing the partnership. "The broadband services are the latest in a line of digital offerings that have dramatically changed the viewing experience for our subscribers, providing them with more access, choice, and even greater value to their subscriptions."
"HBO is an iconic brand with award winning original programming and exclusive feature films and we are thrilled they are joining us in our mission to make our services available online to our customers," added Matt Bond, Comcast's executive vice president of content acquisition.