Comcast is finalizing a deal to make the HBO Go Xbox app available to its 22.3 million customers, reports the New York Times.
That means Comcast customers will be able to watch new episodes of Game of Thrones anytime they want, provided that they own an Xbox 360 and pay the additional fee for HBO on their monthly cable bill.
HBO Go gives cable TV customers the ability to stream HBO’s large library of movies, documentaries, specials, and original TV shows on a variety of platforms with internet connectivity. The service is available on iOS and Android devices, set-top boxes, smart TVs, and most recently the Xbox. Several large cable TV services (Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Uverse) permit their customers to take advantage of those apps, but Comcast isn’t one of them.
Comcast wants its customers to use its Xfinity TV streaming service for all premium content, not HBO’s standalone apps. The cable company’s decision has irritated many subscribers, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
“I’m paying you a lot of money for HBO,” Hastings wrote in a Facebook update last week. “So please let me watch HBO Go on my TV.”
Personally, I always pegged Hastings as a supporter of the cordcutting movement. But with Netflix trying to more directly compete with HBO, Showtime, and Starz, it makes sense that he’s still a cable subscriber. Last month, Hastings even attempted to open a discussion with Comcast about bundling Netflix’s streaming service with cable TV subscriptions.
If Comcast does finalize a deal with HBO, it could give its customers access to the HBO Go Xbox App within a week, according to the NYT report. But given the company’s previous behavior, it’s unlikely the deal will extend to other platforms with HBO Go integration.
Game of Thrones image via HBO