Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) is close to offering the HBO Go application to its 12.2 million video subscribers, enabling them to watch shows including “The Sopranos” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on mobile devices, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
An agreement may be announced in the next several weeks, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. A deal would give Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to HBO, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s pay-TV channel, access to past and current programs on smartphones, Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPads and personal computers.
Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC) are the only large U.S. pay-TV providers that don’t already give their HBO subscribers access to content on HBO Go. The application has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times from Apple’s iTunes store, according to HBO. Maureen Huff, a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Time Warner Cable has been negotiating with HBO since at least May on a deal, said the people. Delays have prevented subscribers in New York and Los Angeles, where Time Warner Cable is the dominant cable-TV provider, from getting access to HBO content outside of their home.
Currently, customers of Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network Corp. (DISH), Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS, AT&T Inc. (T)’s U-verse, Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) and Cox Communications Inc. can authenticate themselves as paying HBO subscribers and get content from HBOGO.com.
Time Warner Cable, which was spun off by Time Warner in 2009, advanced 88 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $66.99 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Shares have risen 1.5 percent this year. Time Warner, the owner of CNN and the Warner Bros. movie studios, gained 97 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $31.72 and has fallen 1.4 percent this year. Both companies are based in New York.
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