LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - HBO Now, the premium cable programmer's standalone streaming service, will be available this summer in the Google Play store for a range of Android devices including Chromecast.
The service -- previously available only through Apple TV and Cablevision Systems -- will be coming to Google devices in the near future, said Google senior VP Sundar Pichai, who made the announcement at the Google I/O developers conference Thursday in San Francisco. In addition, he said the company will bring HBO Now and HBO Go to the Android TV connected-television platform.
HBO Now, which is priced at $15 per month and doesn't require a pay-TV subscription, will come to Android this summer, according to the cable net. That will include support to cast the service to Android and Apple iOS devices, as well as web browsers on desktops and laptop computers.
"We're looking forward to expanding our relationship with Google through HBO Now," Bernadette Aulestia, executive VP of domestic network distribution for HBO, said in a statement. "We have seen through social media that there is great demand for the service among Android and Chromecast users, and we're excited to deliver HBO Now to them."
HBO Now offers access to more than 2,000 of the network's original titles and specials, including every episode of "Game of Throne," "True Detective," "Girls," "Veep," "True Blood" and "Sex and the City." HBO Go, its authenticated service for consumers who subscribe through a pay-TV service, provides the very same content.
HBO's push into the over-the-top space -- notwithstanding Cablevision's participation -- has ruffled feathers at big cable and satellite TV providers. That's because they stand to lose TV subscribers if people opt to pay for HBO Now on an a-la-carte basis. But the Time Warner-owned programmer sees the need to forge ahead on OTT as it faces growing competition from Netflix as a value-added video service.
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