Sling TV, the OTT pay-TV service from Dish Network targeted to cord-cutters, said it has become the first Internet TV service to offer linear and video-on-demand content from HBO, and that it will start selling it for an additional $15 per month in time for the April 12 season five premiere of Game of Thrones.
The Sling TV/HBO announcement came on the same day Dish and Time Warner announced a carriage deal for its Turner Broadcasting System cable networks and HBO for the satellite giant’s 14 million customers. Update: Sling TV said its HBO agreement was part of that larger deal.
Apple, meanwhile, has a temporary, three month exclusive on HBO Now, a new standalone offering that will also become available in time for the new season of GoT for $14.99 per month, though HBO Now does not include a live feed of HBO. Cablevision Systems is the first traditional MVPD to sign a deal to offer HBO Now to broadband customers.
Sling TV said HBO will be marketed as $15 add-on to its core “Best Of Live TV” service, which runs $20 per month. Further details about the launch of HBO on Sling TV will be announced soon, the companies said.
Sling TV will offer HBO (one live channel and access to HBO’s VOD library) across its supported platforms, which include Web browsers, the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick, and iOS and Android mobile devices. Sling TV will soon be offered on the Nexus Player, a device that runs the new Android TV platform. Sling TV is currently a single-stream offering.
Update: Sling TV subs won't have access to HBO Go, the premium programmer's authenticated app for mobile and TV-connected devices. Sling TV reasons that its customers won't need access to HBO Go (or to HBO Now, for that matter), because its customers will have access to the HBO linear feed and HBO VOD content, including original series, movies, original HBO Films, documentaries, sports, and comedy and music specials.
“Sling TV is bringing HBO to our customers on all of our supported devices in time for one of the most important TV moments of the year,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, in a statement. “HBO delivers hit shows and movies that TV viewers crave, and with this addition we’re adding another heavy hitter to a lineup that includes ESPN, AMC, TNT and more.”
“It is has always been our desire to make the HBO subscription widely accessible,” added Tom Woodbury, president of global distribution, HBO. “Sling TV is a part of that ongoing evolution and we believe HBO is a great addition to the platform.”
HBO won't be Sling TV's first premium offering. Last month, Sling TV introduced a $5 per month add-on pack called “Hollywood Extra” that features content from EPIX and Sundance TV. Sling TV also markets four other $5 per month add-on packages: Lifestyle Extra, World News Extra, Sports Extra, Hollywood Extra, and Kids Extra.