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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.

Top Rated Comments

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31 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: 9 Votes
31 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: 8 Votes
31 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: 6 Votes
31 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: 5 Votes
31 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: 4 Votes
31 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago
Game over for Apple's competitors. No way anyone will ever catch up to the iPad or iPhone. Now with TV.....WOW!
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago
If it works anything like Match for Music - I think they get paid by Apple every time they are streamed from the Cloud.

Seems like they would want this revenue. Hopefully this paves the way to allowing Match for Movies and recognizing content not purchased from iTunes.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 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
31 months ago

Wow...


Yeah. That was fast. Clearly HBO realizes that they don't want to be left in the dust here. Smart move on their part. It doesn't cost them anything to let customers stream previously purchased content, but it pressures others to being to work with apple.
Rating: 3 Votes

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