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.

icloud hbo
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.

Tag: HBO

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Top Rated Comments

Gasu E. Avatar
159 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ck2875 Avatar
159 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
159 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.
Once again, this is NOT Match. It is only things you already purchased from iTunes. Not your DVD rips, torrented stuff etc
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iCarabma Avatar
159 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NathanBot Avatar
159 months ago
I'd be happy if they just brought HBO GO to the :apple:TV
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
159 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)