During last week’s Apple media event, the new Apple TV was released and during the presentation it was noted that Fox and Universal were not providing iCloud video streaming content due to contractual obligations with HBO. It seems that the whole ordeal turned out to be a temporary one as the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that HBO is working with Fox and Univresal to give studios a bit more leeway when it comes to providing films for distribution for streaming services.
HBO currently spends hundreds of millions of dollars to get “exclusive windows” during which HBO has the right to show movies on its channel and with its HBO Go online service. The company is said to currently be in negotiations that would allow iCloud users and other services to send movies that they already own to other devices. According to sources at Fox and Universal the iCloud restrictions should be lifted in the “near future” with HBO already loosening the ties on Warner Bros. content.
The Wall Street Journal report explained that HBO has the exclusive rights in its deals with both movie studios to “beam movies to consumers during certain ‘windows’ after each film comes out.” The exclusive window typically lasts for a year beginning approximately six months after the DVD release of a film. An HBO spokesperson was able to confirm that the company will be relaxing its deals with the two content providers in order to allow iCloud users to access their previously purchased content:
HBO isn’t planning to give up its exclusive windows, for which it pays hundreds of millions of dollars a year… But HBO is relaxing terms to let users of iCloud and other services send movies they already own to other devices during those windows, an HBO spokesman said… HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.