HBO GO Expands Streaming Library

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When HBO introduced its HBO GO online streaming service last year, there were many complaints about the small number of episodes and movies available. This week, as Yahoo reports, HBO has greatly expanded the HBO GO collection from 600 titles to more than 1400.

Now included are every episode of True Blood, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and Sex and the City, among others. Unfortunately, older shows like Oz or Arliss are still not in the line-up, but at least now there’s hope they’ll be added down the line. There is also a selection of about 200 movies at any given time. If a film currently airing on the HBO cable channel, it’s also on HBO GO.

Current subscribers of HBO can access HBO GO through its web site, Google TV, or the official HBO Go iOS app. It’s available at no extra cost to Comcast Xfinity TV, Verizon Fios, Cox Advanced TV and AT&T U-Verse customers. Unfortunately, it is not yet available on Android devices.

This expanded service is a direct attack on Netflix, where HBO offers little programming. In 2010, HBO shed 1.5 million subscribers while Netflix picked up three million new subscribers in the fourth quarter alone. Whether or not this expanded streaming library will be enough of a draw to bring in new subscribers remains to be seen.

While you must currently pay for HBO to access HBO GO, Time Warner Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes intimated at a December investors’ conference that non-cable subscribers might gain access in the future. He said,

“We could offer it to you separately, and we can do it through the existing distributors that we have, or we could do it through new distributors. That is something that represents a great consumer opportunity in the future and tremendous upside for HBO.”

This is definitely a step in the right direction. Viewers want to be able to watch programming on many more devices than the standard television. Hopefully this really is just the first step and non-subscribers will someday have a way to access this content also.