Time Warner Inc.'s HBO will make its content available on the internet where subscribers can download movies and television shows for free, according to news reports.
The service, dubbed HBO on Broadband, will roll out in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wis. On Tuesday on a trial basis and in other markets shortly thereafter, the New York Times reported. The new service does however, come with a catch. Only customers of Time Warner Cable or subscribers to the company's roadrunner.com Internet service can download for free.
All non-subscribers will have to pay a fee and HBO did not give a timeline for when the service will be available to all U.S. subscribers.
The popular premium channel said its service is targeted at younger subscribers and travelers who watch TV shows and movies on laptops. It will offer 600 titles every month, with 400 hours of downloadable content, including movies, documentaries and original series like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Six Feet Under. The service will also include a live stream of the main HBO channel.
We are in the subscription business, so if we can create services that increase the usage of our product, we can extend the life of a subscriber, which is great for us and for the cable operator, said HBO co-President Eric Kessler.
The application works on Microsoft XP or newer operating systems and is programmed for up to five users. HBO said it is also working on a version of the service for Macintosh users and for Windows-supported mobile devices.