Type of site
|Video on demand|
|Dissolved||July 31, 2020(U.S. only)|
|Predecessor(s)||HBO on Broadband|
|Headquarters||New York, New York, |
|Area served||North America (deprecated)|
Central and Eastern Europe
Nordic Europe (only VOD)
Spain (only VOD)
|Key people||Ann Sarnoff (Chairman, WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group)|
|Parent||Home Box Office, Inc.|
|Registration||Subscription to HBO through participating pay television provider required to access content|
|Launched||February 18, 2010|
|Current status||Deprecated (North America)|
Active (rest of the world)
HBO Go is an international TV Everywhere video on demand streaming service offered by the American premium cable network HBO for customers outside the United States. It allows HBO subscribers to stream selections of HBO content, including current and past series, films, specials, and sporting events, through either the HBO website, or apps on mobile devices, video game consoles, and digital media players. The service first launched on February 18, 2010.
In the U.S., HBO Go was deprecated, with the new WarnerMedia HBO Max streaming platform launched in May 2020; the latter includes all content available on HBO Go plus additional content from other WarnerMedia properties. WarnerMedia has reached agreements with the vast majority of HBO's American cable, satellite and telco distributors making HBO Max available at no extra charge to existing HBO subscribers. HBO Max was not supported for several months on certain devices supported by HBO Go, including Roku (which it came to terms with to bring HBO Max to the service on December 17, 2020) and Amazon Fire TV (arrived on that platform on November 17).
On June 12, 2020, WarnerMedia announced that the HBO Go platform would be decommissioned in the U.S. on July 31, 2020; on that date, HBO Go's mobile and digital media player apps were removed from app stores, and those who still had the app on their devices were unable to advance past its splash screen. As of August 1, 2020, providers that have not yet made an HBO Max deal continued to allow customer access to HBO Go (mainly Altice USA's brands, Mediacom and smaller cable providers yet to come to terms with WarnerMedia on HBO Max carriage, and closed-circuit university television systems which had not had personnel available during the COVID-19 pandemic to negotiate a new contract for HBO Max), though only through the HBO Go desktop website. By November 2020, the vast majority of these providers also transitioned to HBO Max and the HBO Go website was sunsetted, leaving only Google Fiber customers (until February 28, 2021 when HBO was removed from the service) and internal guests to the WarnerMedia intranet with access to only HBO.
The "HBO Go" brand is also used in international markets for TV everywhere and/or over-the-top services offering HBO programming.
HBO Go was the successor to HBO on Broadband, which was originally launched in January 2008 to Time Warner Cable customers on the Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin nodes and headends. Programming content available on the service consisted of 400 hours of feature and HBO original television films (including 130 movie titles that rotated monthly), specials and original series that could be downloaded to computers, at no extra charge for HBO subscribers; in order to access HBO on Broadband content, users had to be a digital cable customer that had a subscription to HBO, and used Time Warner Cable's Roadrunner cable modem service.
The service launched nationally as HBO Go on February 18, 2010, initially available through Verizon FiOS. Over the following years, the service expanded to other providers including AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Suddenlink Communications, and Charter Communications in some states, as well as through vMVPD services AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV and Hulu. The service can be accessed through a web browser or through apps for select smart TV sets, Amazon Fire, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
At launch, the service was accessible only on personal computers via the HBO website. Applications for iOS and Android devices were released on April 29, 2011, making the service available on smartphones and tablet computers. The app had over one million downloads in its first week, and was downloaded over three million times by the end of June 2011.
In October 2011, Roku streaming players became the first television-connected devices to support the service, and availability was later rolled out to the Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation consoles, Samsung Smart TVs, and Xbox consoles. Availability on set-top boxes and gaming consoles is determined by individual cable providers in the United States with some omissions. Currently Comcast does not support the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Fire TV and did not support Roku players until late 2014. Sling TV subscribers who receive HBO through that service are unable to access HBO GO, since HBO's live feed and on-demand content is available through the Sling TV apps. The same also applies to PlayStation Vue subscribers except they also have access to HBO Now.
In January 2019, HBO Go was dropped from PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Samsung Smart TVs released before 2013.
Main article: HBO Now
On October 15, 2014, following a trial of a similar service in Nordic Europe, HBO announced that it planned to launch an over-the-top subscription service in 2015, which would allow "cord cutters," "cord nevers," and subscribers to basic cable packages to subscribe to HBO without requiring either a subscription to a pay television provider or to a premium bundle. The decision marks a significant change to HBO's business model, as the service will be marketed directly to consumers rather than through television providers. The new offering will primarily target "cord cutters" and "cord nevers", who primarily use online video services, such as Netflix or Hulu, to stream video content and television programming rather than subscribing to a cable television or satellite provider. The new service, HBO Now, was officially unveiled on March 9, 2015 for a launch in April of that year, with mobile and digital media player support exclusive to Apple devices at launch.
The over-the-top service was launched in Latin America in June 2017, although under the name HBO Go.
HBO Go streams a selection of theatrically released films (via film studios that maintain distribution deals with HBO including 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and network sister company Warner Bros. Pictures) with a significant number of titles added and removed from the service every month. HBO original series are available on a permanent basis. New episodes of current series are typically available for streaming beginning at the time of their initial broadcast in the Eastern Time Zone on the linear HBO channel.
However, HBO Go does not carry several past HBO series, such as Tales from the Crypt, Tenacious D, 1st & Ten, Da Ali G Show, or The Ricky Gervais Show. The Larry Sanders Show and Arliss were initially unavailable but added in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Moreover, unlike TV Everywhere services offered by most other broadcast and cable-satellite television networks, HBO Go does not provide access to near-real-time streams of HBO's linear channels. (Max Go, the TV Everywhere service of sister premium service Cinemax, also does not offer streams of any of that network's linear television channels.) Plus, new episodes of Sesame Street can be also streamed.