Cablevision and HBO Announce New Streaming Agreement

hboA press release yesterday announced a small but important change in the way that HBO delivers its premium content.

Cablevision, a cable provider in the New York area, has agreed to offer HBO NOW as a standalone streaming service to their Optimum Online customers.   As most of you know, cable providers make you subscribe to the HBO movie channel before you can access any HBO content online.  But without that channel subscription, which goes along with paying for basic cable and often times one of the other movie channels, you’re out of luck.  And as we all know, none of this is cheap or even affordable for a substantial portion of the population.  HBO’s recent decision to sell HBO NOW streaming service separately at a reasonable cost point may have caused the cable television industry to sit up and listen.

To our knowledge, Cablevision is the first to offer HBO content without requiring customers also subscribe to the movie channel.  Although experts estimate that only 2% of the population watches everything via streaming services, they expect this number to rise as younger generations become a larger part of the consumer economy (and as more of us “oldsters” become more tech savvy).

Perhaps Cablevision saw the writing on the wall and if so, it’s a smart move.  This is an opportunity for them to retain customers who don’t want to pay for thousands of useless channels and obtain those younger customers who would have never signed up for traditional cable in the first place.

Are you a “never had traditional cable” person or an “I cut the cord” person?  Or are you stuck, like me, in a multi-year contract but want to cut the cord when you get the chance?  Are you in the New York area and a Cablevision customer?  What does this news mean to you?

Additional info from the press release after the jump:


Optimum is the First Cable Provider to Announce Plans to Distribute HBO NOW
Via Internet and Optimum WiFi

BETHPAGE, NY, March 16, 2015 – Cablevision and Home Box Office (HBO) announced today that they have reached an agreement to offer standalone streaming service HBO NOW to Optimum Online customers via the internet. Optimum is the first cable provider to partner with HBO to offer the new service, which is expected to launch in April in time for the fifth season of Game of Thrones.

Kristin Dolan, Cablevision chief operating officer said: “As New York’s premier connectivity company, we are enabling Optimum Online customers to enjoy content in any way they choose to receive it. We are well-positioned to support HBO NOW and, as technology advances, Cablevision will continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

“We couldn’t be more excited that our longtime partner has joined us for the launch of HBO NOW,” said Tom Woodbury, President, Global Distribution, HBO. “We believe that HBO NOW will have great appeal to Cablevision’s broadband customers.”

HBO NOW provides instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming, allowing viewers to watch every episode of every season of the best series programming, more of the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, original HBO Films, groundbreaking documentaries, sports, and comedy and music specials. With the upcoming launch of HBO NOW, Optimum will now offer the full suite of HBO products, which also includes its pay TV channels and TV to GO offering, giving customers more options than ever before.

Cablevision plans to provide pricing and other particulars for HBO NOW in the coming weeks. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Optimum Online offers an unparalleled internet experience, including a wide-range of high-speed internet product tiers that are designed to provide the right speeds for every type of user as well as access to Optimum WiFi, the nation’s most robust WiFi network featuring 1.1 million hotspots across the tri-state area. For more information on Optimum Online, visit


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  1. I only wish there was a way to cut Sky Atlantic out of the loop on this side of the Ally oh…

  2. Cablevision is a small provider and that’s likely why they decided to do this. It is beneficial for them to have a perceived advantage over their much bigger competition. But this is the kind of thing that can help a small operation to grow bigger… and can force the hand of industry leaders to follow in their footstep.

  3. Now, if they could make it available to other countries, that’d be great! HBO is really cheap where I leave, so I don’t really need HBO NOW, but there are plenty of people in other countries that need it.

  4. I live in NY. You’re all invited to my place to stream Ep501. Yes, you too Geekfurious. But show up empty handed or talk statistical nonsense and you will never be invited again.

  5. King Stannis,

    I assume it works the same as HBO GO, so the episode should be available to stream the second the episode starts airing on HBO. Hopefully they’ll have better servers this time, last year HBO GO crushed because too many people tried viewing the episode.

  6. I’m an Optimum/Cablevision Customer who has traditional cable and has no issue with it (in fact, I hate watching things on my computer and/or mobile device, and don’t have anything currently to stream directly onto my tv). So this doesn’t really effect me unless I’m travelling somewhere and don’t have access any other way. However, I already have access to HBO Go, so not sure whether that means it’s redundant or an additional option (meaning if HBO Go crashes, will HBO Now still be up and running?)

  7. Rygar:
    I live in NY.You’re all invited to my place to stream Ep501.Yes, you too Geekfurious.But show up empty handed or talk statistical nonsenseand you will never be invited again.

    No thanks. I’d rather watch it with cool people.

    OH SNAP! #burrrnnnnn

  8. Morgan,

    YEAAAA! Thank you for posting it! Reading now.

    A question I’ve wondered for awhile: With winter coming, does that mean that some areas of the show will be winter-free? Winter, I’m assuming doesn’t impact Essos as much. And like, what’s the average snowfall in King’s Landing?
    Cogman: The jury is still out on how much winter appears everywhere. We’re only really seeing evidence of winter in Northern areas. What’s fun about it, though, is not only does it become a thematic part of the story, but it will become a practical part, as well. Weather will impact the story in cool ways.

    I hope that means

    Winter comes at the end of the season
  9. It’s a fine interview, but no amazing revelations.

    The post-season interview last year was way more juicy than this or last year‘s pre-season interviews. After season four aired, D&D addressed the future with surprising openness, despite the fact that it was still July, a long way from season five. Hopefully we get something similar this year, after the season airs, though they probably won’t be as open about season six, because it’s based on unpublished material. Hey, at least we may get some tidbits.

    As for Winter finally coming, if they follow the books it should. The North is completely covered by a snowstorm by the end of ADWD, and it’s snowing in the Riverlands and King’s Landing. I’m not sure they will make it snow in the South this year, but I expect Stannis and the Boltons to be affected by the snowstorm in the North. I think that’s what Cogman was talking about. Well, he said the whether will “impact the story in cool ways”, so maybe he means Stannis making use of the frozen lakes for the Battle of Ice, but we don’t know if that TWOW material will remain intact in the show.
  10. I’m thoroughly confused. So if you are already paying for “optimum” cable (whatever that is) through Cablevision, but not for HBO you will now be allowed to add HBO Now to your cable for a monthly fee?

    These same customers presumably could add HBO itself for less than the 14.99 HBO Now pricetag, and that comes with the already proven HBO GO. Why would they want Now instead?

    Not to mention that if they (for some reason) really want Now instead of Go they don’t have to be a Cablevision subscriber to get it…

  11. Queenofthrones,
    Jack Bauer 24,

    The Press release is not really clear, is it?

    I suspect what they mean is that they have customers who do not have Cable TV–they only use them for their Internet connection. Those people can pay $14.99 for HBO NOW and get HBO content without having to subscribe and pay for the standard Cable TV package AND pay the extra for HBO. That would actually be the ideal situation for me and I hope that Cox Communications comes around to this way of thinking as well. I would save soooooo much money.

  12. I’m about to cord cut but will still go through my Cable provider for internet so if they do this I would probably sign up.

    Btw, I didn’t know Cable companies made you sign a contract, mine didn’t. It’s basically month to month. What did they give you for free that would justify a long term contract or do you get a discount on the monthly fee?

  13. GeekFurious,

    Pfft, you’re a Geek. And you are Furious. You don’t qualify by definition for “cool”! Get off your horse.

    I’m in, Ry. I like odd and funny.

  14. I live in NYC and have Cablevision/Optimum. The contract I signed with them allowed me to get a pretty significant discount on all three services (cable tv, internet, and phone) for a lot less collectively than the sum of their parts. However, that only lasted a year and now I’m dealing with a much higher monthly bill. I could cut out the tv portion of the package and sign up only for HBO Now.

    I won’t do this, though. I have no problem paying what I pay now to get HBO and all its channels, Showtime et al, and Starz et al. $14.99 just to get HBO and HBO only seems rather steep since I think I’m paying that much to get all three premium movie channels listed above already. Plus other channels that come with the tier level my package puts me in: Smithsonian channel, FXX, BBC America, and a few more.

    HBO Now is great if HBO is all the tv you want from your cable provider. It’s not in my case.

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