Apple, HBO reportedly in talks to bring HBO Go to Apple TV

The companies are working on a deal to bring HBO's streaming app to the Apple TV set-top box by mid-2013, according to Bloomberg sources.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
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Apple and HBO are in talks to bring HBO's on-demand programming to Apple's set-top streaming box, a new report says.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg says the two companies are still working out a deal with hopes of adding it to Apple's streaming lineup by the middle of this year.

Apple declined to comment on the report, calling it rumor and speculation.

"We've said we would like HBO GO accessible on all preferred platforms so we are always having discussions with a variety of companies," an HBO spokesperson told CNET.

Apple's set-top box currently hosts a number of apps for Apple's own services like iTunes and movie trailers, but also includes third-party streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, making the addition of HBO's programming a natural fit. The only hiccup in such a plan is that HBO Go currently requires users to subscribe to HBO through their cable operator to use it, something Bloomberg's sources say Apple is trying to bypass.

For its part, HBO already offers its HBO Go app on Apple's iOS platform for playback on Apple's mobile devices, and sells some of its shows on the iTunes Store. HBO Go is also available on rival set-top boxes, including Roku's, as well as on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Samsung's Smart TVs, however all of those solutions require an active subscription through a cable provider.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own television set for release as soon as this fall. While much of that story has been about hardware and the form factor, equal measure has gone to the kind of content deals Apple might need to have in place to differentiate its set from rivals. Apple's TV set-top box, which the company has kept around since early 2007, is still described as a "hobby" by the company, though has posted stronger sales in the past few quarters due to increasing interactivity with Apple's iOS and Mac devices.

Updated at 10 a.m. PT on 2/1/2013 with comment from HBO.