If watching “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” or your favorite sports team on Apple TV seemed like a hassle, Apple’s Wednesday announcement might make your life a little bit easier. The company says it will now offer direct streaming services for HBO Go and WatchESPN on Apple TV.
“HBO Go and WatchESPN are some of the most popular iOS apps and are sure to be huge hits on Apple TV,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services.
HBO Go will still require a subscription to HBO and, by extension, a subscription to a cable or satellite provider.
HBO had made clear that it wanted to be included in Apple TV streaming, according to Wired. “We will get on Apple TV, as we’ve said all along,” said HBO President and COO Eric Kessler in February. At that time, Go was already available on Xbox 360, Roku, and other television consoles.
Incorporating HBO Go and WatchESPN is a sign that Apple is trying to stay at the top of both the TV streaming device market, which includes devices like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as TV streaming providers.
Amazon, which provides TV streaming through its Instant Video service, announced earlier in June that its offering has expanded and now includes exclusive rights to hit series such as PBS’s "Downton Abbey" and the CBS summer series "Under the Dome."
In addition to HBO Go and WatchESPN, Apple will provide access to Sky News, a UK-based news site with a 24/7 news feed; Crunchyroll, a service for Japanese manga and anime; and Qello, an on-demand film and music streaming service.
In the company's press release, Apple also announced that Apple customers have downloaded more than 1 billion TV episodes and 380 million movies through iTunes. Users are purchasing more than 800,000 TV episodes and more than 350,000 movies per day.