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Cablevision to be first pay-TV provider to offer HBO Now without TV bundle

No TV bundle needed: Cablevision is first pay TV operator to offer HBO Now

Cable operators don’t want to cut their cord with HBO.

The premium channel has secured a deal with New York-based Cablevision Systems, which will offer HBO Now to its Optimum Online customers without the need to purchase a TV bundle.

HBO Now, which will gives subscribers access to HBO's library of original shows and catalog of feature films, is expected to roll out in April -- in time for the fifth season of the network's popular "Game of Thrones."

Pricing for HBO Now via Cablevision is expected to be set and announced in the coming weeks. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We couldn’t be more excited that our longtime partner has joined us for the launch of HBO NOW," said Tom Woodbury, the network's president of global distribution, said in a statement. "We believe that HBO NOW will have great appeal to Cablevision's broadband customers.”

Last week HBO and Apple announced Apple TV would be the "exclusive" non-pay TV launch device for the service, priced at $14.99 a month, for three months. An app for iPhone and iPad will also be released. 

Cablevision primarily serves the New York region. Optimum Online has about 2.8 million customers, according to its most recent earnings report.

HBO subscribers currently have access to the digital service HBO Go as part of their pay-TV subscriptions through providers such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.  Cablevision now stands as the first pay TV operator to exclude the need to purchase a TV package for a customer to have access to HBO's content of programming.

HBO is in conversations with its other pool of pay TV distributors that sell broadband about offering HBO Now at launch.

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