updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue August 17, 2010
HBO Go to hit iPad but says Netflix too cheap
HBO provided mixed news for the fate of its video services in an interview on Tuesday. HBO co-president Eric Kessler told Bloomberg that an adaptation of HBO Go for the iPad and other handhelds should be ready within six months. He didn't explain if there was a cost, but HBO Go has usually been limited to being a free bonus for those who already subscribe to a TV package with HBO.
Kessler resisted calls to support Netflix, however, by offering TV shows either as discs or as part of the Watch Instantly feature. He saw the lack of viewing options as a positive as it steered customers towards more expensive services that would boost HBO's performance. Customers are "willing to pay a premium" if they believe the content is valuable, he said.
HBO already offers paid shows on iTunes and other pay-per-download services but has been one of the last holdouts on readily available streaming. Netflix has lately been negotiating deals to guarantee streaming access to movies that it wouldn't necessarily have otherwise received through direct deals, including on-demand TV movies from Epix and Relativity Media. TV episodes have been available through Netflix but are usually just a small fraction of its content.