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HBO shows land on Google Play in the UK

But the prices are a pain in the neck
Tue Dec 03 2013, 10:06

OVERLY EXPENSIVE TV show and film store Google Play has added HBO pay TV programming.

Following the arrival of the American premium cable channel's shows on Google Play in the US last month, a limited range is now available in the UK too, with more to follow later in the month.

Launch shows include three seasons of slice and dice cliffhanger Game of Thrones, six of vampish vampire based inadvertent comedy True Blood, and the first series of US Thick of It remake Veep.

Prohibition era Buschemifest Boardwalk Empire and no punch pulling lady comedy Girls complete the lineup. Other HBO shows preparing to make their debut in the second tranche include The Wire, Band of Brothers, The Pacific and The Sopranos, with a third wave next year to include Banshee and The Newsroom.

The demand for US programming in the UK has continued to rise thanks to the success of dramas like Breaking Bad and Dexter and comedies including Parks & Recreation and The Ricky Gervais Show.

Colin Smith, director of international digital distribution for HBO said "We are delighted to bring our wide range of programming to Google Play in the UK, and expand on our existing relationship in the US.

"This is an exciting time for HBO in the digital space, and we can’t wait to work with Google over the coming weeks and months to deliver all of our series and films to their platform, including a host of new and returning HBO shows throughout 2014."

With the war on Bittorrent a long way from over, on-demand programming has become an important weapon in the Hollywood studios fight against downloads. However, with prices on the Google Play store clocking in at £1.89 an episode, this might not be the format to do it.

Until Google and Apple are able to offer a competitive pricing model comparable to Lovefilm and Netflix, then downloading, or at least buying the DVDs and ripping them, will always be more appealing.

We took True Blood season one as an example. The streaming price for the season on Google Play costs £24.99. The DVDs, which are yours to keep, are priced at £12.50. It just doesn't stack up. µ


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