HBO Home Entertainment UK has revealed plans to make its portfolio of TV shows available to watch instantly through a new agreement with digital movie service blinkbox.
For the first time, consumers in the UK can buy the second seasons of Emmy and Golden Globe-winning epic Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire via blinkbox’s digital movie service ahead of their DVD and Blu-ray release. Fans of HBO’s programming will be able to own individual episodes or entire seasons, and all without subscription.
From 13th August, blinkbox – owned by UK supermarket giant Tesco – will offer a broad range of premium HBO series including all four seasons of smash-hit supernatural drama True Blood as well as the critically-acclaimed blockbuster mini-series Band of Brothers and The Pacific.
Colin Smith, Director, International Digital Distribution for HBO, pointed out that a number of titles would be available on an EST (Electronic Sell Through) basis for the very first time, adding that it was part of HBO’s ongoing strategy to make this content available to viewers in a variety of formats so they can immerse themselves in their favourite shows whenever, wherever. “Fans will now be able to own their favourite series in digital format,” he advised.
blinkbox CEO Michael Comish suggested that anyone wanting to watch the second seasons of Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire would have to wait to watch them on DVD. “We’ve got them right now on blinkbox,” he boasted.
In fact, BSkyB’s output deal with HBO gives it Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) rights for all the titles it makes available on its Sky Atlantic channel. This SVoD window precedes any transaction rental or download entitlements. Sky utilises the SVoD rights through Sky Anytime+ and Sky Go. Accordingly, Sky will run HBO shows on a linear and VoD basis before anyone else.
As with all blinkbox titles, these HBO shows can be viewed on PC, Mac, SMART devices (TV, Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes), iPad, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.