Sony and HBO have agreed upon distribution of HBO original TV programming through Playstation 3 and PSP portable devices — the only caveat being you’ll have to wait 11-months for the HBO content to become available. And, you’ll be be paying a bit more for the content than you would other network TV Dramas which cost between 99-cents and $1.99 per episode.
To look at some examples, an episode of “True Blood” or “Rome” costs $2.99 for the SD version. A slightly less expensive example would be “Entourage” which costs $1.99 per episode for the SD version. HD versions are not yet available to download, but one might expect to pay about $1 more for high-def — a standard the other networks follow in the PS Store.
Clearly, the 11-month lapse proves HBO does not want to impede upon any paid TV subscriptions to cable or satellite companies by offering premiere programming a-la-cart to PS3 users. The titles will instead become available months down the road as they are released to DVD and digital download. And, the $2.99 per episode attempts to position HBO as a premium content provider above the ranks of the NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX who charge about $1 less per episode. To compare, NBC’s “Bionic Woman” runs $1.99 per episode ($2.99 HD), as well as Syfy’s “Caprica” also priced at $1.99 per episode ($2.99 HD).
HBO’s Home Entertainment President Henry McGee mentions the HBO demographic can support the pricier content. According to a Dow Jones article that demographic is “largely males ages 18 to 34 that are affluent, educated and diverse.”
Neither company would share financial details of the agreement.
“True Blood” (Season Two), “Big Love” (Season One), “Eastbound and Down” (Seasons One & Two), and multiple seasons of “The Sopranos ,” “Sex and the City,” “The Wire,” “Rome,” “Da Ali G Show,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Flight of the Conchords” make up the HBO content currently available on the PS3.
You can view the newly added HBO titles by going to the PlayStation Store and selecting TV Shows > Networks > HBO. Sony says new titles will be added as they become available. We’ll keep you posted on HD format availability.