Reports say that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and HBO are closing in on a deal to make the HBO Go app available to Xfinity subscribers on the Xbox. According to The New York Times, the operator may unlock access as early as this week.
The fact that Comcast has blocked HBO Go on some devices has been a major point of contention in recent weeks. Although the MSO allows subscribers to access the app on tablets and PCs, it has steered clear of making it available on larger living-room screens. As of right now, Comcast subscribers can't access HBO Go on Roku boxes, Samsung connected TVs, or the Xbox.
Part of the controversy around the HBO Go issue is the fact that Comcast offers its own Xfinity app on the Xbox. That app is not only available to all subscribers, but usage doesn't count against Comcast's broadband caps the way it does any time a subscriber streams video from HBO Go, Netflix, or any other Internet-based video service. The reason the Xfinity app gets special treatment is because Comcast delivers the content over its own managed IP network, rather than the open Internet. However, that fact has not appeased some critics, who believe there are serious net neutrality implications to be considered.
As for the latest word that Comcast will allow access to HBO Go on the Xbox after all, it's certainly news that HBO fans will cheer. HBO Go offers a huge back catalog of original HBO programming, including viewer favorites like True Blood, The Wire, and many others.
- see the New York Times article
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