Apple TV Beats Roku, Chromecast, Amazon to HBO Now

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HBO Now, HBO's planned standalone streaming-video subscription service, will arrive first on Apple TV, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said Monday at an Apple event in San Francisco.

Apple TV will be the only streaming device to offer the service for a period of three months, meaning rival boxes and sticks like Roku, Google's Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick will be shut out.

That's a win for Apple, which famously has referred to Apple TV as a "hobby," given the interest in the service, which will let cord-cutters and people who never had cable or satellite buy HBO alone for the first time.

Although Apple's will be the only device carrying HBO Now when it arrives next month, it may be accompanied by cable and satellite companies offering HBO Now to their internet customers, an HBO spokesman said. Conversations with those potential distributors are going on now, the company said.

The service, which will cost $14.99 per month, will let subscribers watch the network's new and library content on iPhone and iPad devices and, upon signing up through Apple, on personal computers at HBONow.

Mr. Plepler made the announcement at an event where Apple's forthcoming smartwatch is expected to dominate the focus.

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