Report: HBO looks to Apple, Roku, Microsoft as it tries to market a la carte service sans pay-TV

Time Warner Inc. has been unable to get pay-TV operators to help it market its new a la carte HBO service, so it is looking for new partners in the online media realm.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters says Time Warner is talking to companies like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Roku--those it already has agreements with to distribute the HBO Go TV Everywhere service.

Pay-TV operators have traditionally served as the marketing engines for HBO and all other premium programmers, using their networks as bait to sign up new subscribers.

Time Warner announced in October that it wants to create an online SVOD version of HBO Go that is unbound to the pay-TV market. The conglomerate is looking to entice 10 million U.S. homes that carry broadband and not pay TV, as well as 80 million U.S. homes overall that don't subscribe to HBO.

But pay-TV operators are viewing this as a competitive threat and are unwilling to support its launch.

According to Reuters, Time Warner is looking to recoup from online operators as much as 70 percent of revenue from its a la carte HBO service.

Time Warner has not announced a launch date for the new SVOD product, or even a name or price. Memos leaked in December indicating that the company had decided to move HBO's streaming infrastructure out of house, farming it over to Major League Baseball Advanced Media. That memo, which was obtained by Fortune magazine, hinted that April was a likely launch period.

For more:
- read this Reuters story

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