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HBO Confirms Negotiations to Allow Fox and Universal to Participate in iCloud for Movies

Last week, we noted with the launch of the new Apple TV and iTunes in the Cloud for movies that Fox and Universal were not participating in the iCloud video streaming due to contractual obligations with HBO. At the time CNET indicated that the issue was a temporary one and that HBO and the affected studios would be working to address the holdup in the near future.


The Wall Street Journal now reports that HBO is indeed working with Fox and Universal to loosen its restrictions on film distribution, with a spokesperson for HBO confirming the negotiations.
HBO isn't planning to give up its exclusive windows, for which it pays hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and which allow it to beam movies to its online service HBO Go as well as to its traditional TV channels. But HBO is relaxing terms to let users of iCloud and other services send movies they already own to other devices during those windows, an HBO spokesman said.

HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.
Sources at Fox suggest that the roadblock on iCloud will be lifted "as soon as within weeks", while Universal sources also indicate that a resolution is near.

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35 months ago

Did you read the article or just speculate what information it contained and opt to blindly post a comment?

This isn't about adding in HBO content to iTunes the day after it airs on HBO's channels. It is simply HBO allowing you to redownload films you've already purchased before their exclusive window goes into effect. In fact, it really has nothing to do with accessing HBO's first party IP.


I up-voted you for being the only person who read this announcement right. -100 to anyone who thinks this is about streaming HBO content.

This is basically about HBO not letting a contractual technicality stand in the way of something that doesn't impact their business. Kudos to HBO for not being a bunch of d1##heads; other than that it is nothing amazing.
Rating: 6 Votes
35 months ago

I can only imagine what this is going to cost if HBO is truly on board. HBO has steadfastly refused to work with services like Netflix until they double or triple the current monthly fee.


Did you read the article or just speculate what information it contained and opt to blindly post a comment?

This isn't about adding in HBO content to iTunes the day after it airs on HBO's channels. It is simply HBO allowing you to redownload films you've already purchased before their exclusive window goes into effect. In fact, it really has nothing to do with accessing HBO's first party IP.
Rating: 6 Votes
35 months ago

I can only imagine what this is going to cost if HBO is truly on board. HBO has steadfastly refused to work with services like Netflix until they double or triple the current monthly fee.


HBO's service already is ala carte.

HBO doesn't have anything to lose by going to Apple TV, and still charging the same $12/month fee they charge cable subscribers.

If HBO then Cinemax then Movie Channel then Starz, etc. get on-board with Apple TV, this can be the start of the ala carte system.
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago
With all the recent rumors regarding the [possible] Siri TV, does anyone believe CBS and the like will come to an agreement with Apple for a la carte programming? If not, will that be the deciding factor in its possible release? As HBO loosens its restrictions for iTunes Cloud, I would believe it wouldn't be a stretch for Fox and the like associated with HBO for Apple's TV programming. (yes, I read the article and this is a bit off topic but relates to the previous front page post re:CBS and the Siri TV rumors)

I can only imagine what this is going to cost if HBO is truly on board. HBO has steadfastly refused to work with services like Netflix until they double or triple the current monthly fee.


Wow! That's insane!

(Funny, someone went along and gave a negative to all the posts already, being a good MacRumors citizen I countered it lol ;) )
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

I can only imagine what this is going to cost if HBO is truly on board. HBO has steadfastly refused to work with services like Netflix until they double or triple the current monthly fee.


I'm not too surprised - I'm amazed Netflix is so cheap. Yes, my cable package offers a lot more - and newer - content, but at 10+ times the monthly cost.

I'd have absolutely no problem paying 3-4 times more for Netflix if they boosted their available content; because that means I could drop cable.
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

I dont know this means. I'm new to Apple TV. Would this apply to iTunes Match since I own DVDs and Blu Ray of hbo content?


No... This allows you to re-download movies you purchased on iTunes so you don't have to sync them to your iPhone or iPad before you leave on a trip or use iTunes running on your PC to stream the movie to your Apple TV.

If you look at "Movies in the Cloud" service (found under "Purchased" on Apple TV and iTunes Store) some movies can be re-downloadded (new feature since March 7, 2012), but other movies in your iTunes collection do not appear. The missing ones are likely from those studios who are blocked by their agreement with HBO.

The feature you are asking for would be awesome (iTunes Match for DVD and Blu-Ray movies), but I don't think we will see that until we see Apple's supposedly "revolutionary new television". Incidentally, I think the movie industry is working on what looks to be an ill-fated project called "Ultra-Violet" for essentially converting your DVD/Blu-Ray collection into a streaming collection. If you're like me, you want streaming and re-download for convenience but you also want your movies on your own hard drive where you personally can guarantee access to them.

UPDATE: According to the UltraViolet FAQ (http://uvdemystified.com/uvfaq.html#1.1), UV allows for both "download" and "streaming". So this may be a good thing if it ever takes off since it will allow playing of your movies on any device.
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago
I'd be happy if they just brought HBO GO to the :apple:TV
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

Yes, good on them for agreeing to sort this out, but it's rather outrageous that it was ever an issue in the first place. Only in the film industry would a clause exist that prevents customers from re-downloading content they already paid for because some third party bought up the viewing rights of said content.


I agree, but as I said before, I think this is an unintended consequence of a contract written before one could anticipate this issue.

And since Apple doesn't pre announce, who knows how long HBO had to move on this.

I think it's a lot of people's knee jerk reaction to get angry at stuff like this, because we (the end users) have been burned so many times by cable companies and the ilk. This seems like a rare case where everybody wins.
Rating: 3 Votes
35 months ago

And Apple can do the same thing - they can pay for streaming exclusivity. Apple needs to start the dominos in motion, and this might cost them some money initially, but it will come back to them in more Apple TV hardware sales and more income from selling the content when it becomes successful.

It might take time to wait for current contracts to end, but the change from cable companies to streaming will happen soon.

Please, no. Exclusivity rights symbolizes everything that's wrong with the film and tv industry, and the very reason a decent streaming service can't get off the ground.
Rating: 2 Votes
35 months ago

While I'd be first in line for ala carte HBO, it seriously doubt that they'd charge only $12/mo. I'd guess more like 25-30.


Don't they charge about $12 now? :confused:
Rating: 2 Votes

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