Confirmed: Astral to Launch HBO GO iOS App in Canada This Fall


Astral Media has confirmed they plan to introduce HBO GO to Canadians this Fall. The app is currently in the U.S. only, and will allow subscribers to stream popular HBO shows to their iOS devices:

“It will be on the computer, the television of course, iPads and mobile devices,” said Astral chief executive officer Ian Greenberg during the company’s quarterly conference call. “That was our goal, and that is what we will be going out with.”

Bell acquired Astral for over $3 billion over a month ago. Astral has rights to HBO Canada (just like Corus Entertainment) and analysts see this as a move against Netflix. With the HBO GO app, it’ll just allow Canadians to watch their favourite HBO shows on their iOS devices, and hopefully they will include AirPlay unlike the current U.S. HBO GO app.

Who’s looking forward to this?

[via CTV]


  • 0mni

    Fine Print:
    “With limited shows available in Canada due to the Canadian government screwing citizens up the arse.”

  • northernpenguin

    I am fairly certain, given the business practices of Bell so far that this HBO Go app will be available for HBO Subscribers who are on Bell Mobility ONLY. 100 to 1 that Rogers, Telus mobile phones will not be supported.

  • Jon

    That would be counter to CRTC rules which specifically prohibit limiting acquisitions to function exclusively on their own networks at the expense of other’s simply for the merit of forced bundling. In order words, it is illegal for Bell to make a CTV app that only works on Bell phones. However, it is perfectly legal for Bell to make a CTV app that functions only on iPhones. Hope you understand the difference.

  • northernpenguin

    Sure I understand the difference. I am also not quite as confident as you are that CRTC does specifically block them from doing this on iPhones. Hell how many times has Bell been slapped by the CRTC for their own business practices as it is (telemarketing rules anyone?)

    When Bell first launched TSN, Muchmusic, CTV on iPhone it was via Bell’s Mobile TV app that was restricted to Bell Mobility subscribers.

    Unless the CRTC specifically forces Rogers, Bell to offer these vertically integrated product lines you will see the companies trying to use these assets as carrots to get people onto their networks. Think of all the smartphone TV apps that were launched in 2010 “only on the NEW Bell network”.