Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Time Warner through its respective flagship company Home Box Office, Inc. Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with made-for-cable movies and documentaries, boxing matches, and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials.
List of channels
Depending on the service provider, HBO provides up to thirteen multiplex channels – seven 24-hour multiplex channels, all of which are simulcast in both standard definition and high definition – as well as a subscription video-on-demand service (HBO On Demand). Off-the-air maintenance periods of a half-hour up to two hours occur during overnight periods at scattered times on each channel once each month.
HBO broadcasts its primary and multiplex channels on both Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules. The respective coastal feeds of each channel are usually packaged together (though most cable providers only offer the east and west coast feeds of the main HBO channel, as well as HBO2 in some cases), resulting in the difference in local airtimes for a particular movie or program between two geographic locations being three hours at most. The premium film service Cinemax, which is also owned by Time Warner through Home Box Office Inc., operates as a separate service from HBO; although HBO is very frequently sold together in a package with Cinemax, subscribers to one of the services do not necessarily have to subscribe to the other.
|Channel||Description and programming|
|The flagship service; HBO airs popular feature films; first-run films; original series and made-for-cable movies; boxing events; sports, stand-up comedy and occasional concert specials; and documentaries. The channel also typically debuts new movies on a weekly basis – with feature films debuting on HBO within a lag of between eight months to one year on average from their initial theatrical release – on Saturday nights (usually around 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time; the Pacific Time Zone broadcast of the premiered film airs later in the evening when a live special – most commonly, a telecast of HBO World Championship Boxing or HBO Boxing After Dark – is scheduled to air that particular Saturday, with the special being shown after the movie on the Eastern Time Zone feed). The main HBO channel mainly airs R-rated films only after 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, but does air certain TV-MA rated programs during the daytime hours.|
|A secondary channel that features a separate schedule of theatrical and original made-for-cable movies, series and specials, as well as same-week rebroadcasts of newer films, boxing events and episodes of HBO original series aired recently on the primary channel. Unlike the main HBO channel, HBO2 broadcasts R-rated films during the daytime hours. Launched on August 1, 1991, the channel was renamed HBO Plus on April 1, 1998, but reverted to the original "HBO2" name in September 2002. In Latin America, a regional version of HBO2 rebroadcasts movies previously aired on the main HBO Latin America channel, and HBO Plus functions as a separate channel.|
|Launched on May 6, 1999, HBO Comedy features comedic films, as well as rebroadcasts of HBO's original comedy series and stand-up specials; the channel broadcasts R-rated films during the daytime hours, but only airs adult comedy specials at night.|
|Launched in December 1996, HBO Family features movies and series aimed at children, as well as feature films intended for a broader family audience. It airs a block of series aimed at preschoolers, "HBO Family Jam", each morning from 6:00 to 11:00 a.m. and weekday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time; films and family-oriented original specials fill out the remainder of the channel's daily schedule. All films broadcast on HBO Family are rated G, PG or PG-13 (or the equivalent TV-G, TV-PG or TV-14); R-rated films and TV-MA rated programs are not broadcast on the channel. Prior to El Perro y El Gato's migration of first-run episodes to the channel in January 2018, children's programs formerly ran on the main HBO channel in the form of a daily morning block, with specials airing during the late afternoon/early evening hours; these programs migrated entirely to HBO Family by the early 2000s.
HBO Family is HBO's third (and only successful) venture at a family-oriented pay service: two similarly formatted standalone mini-pay services that were launched by the network, Take 2 in 1979 and Festival in 1987, both ceased operations after short existences. Despite being a premium service, cable providers have occasionally used HBO Family to temporarily replace television stations that were dropped due to carriage disputes with providers such as during Hearst Television's 2012 dispute with Time Warner Cable that resulted in TWC's associated Bright House Networks system substituting independent station WMOR-TV with the channel in Tampa, Florida, and a dispute between Cox Communications and LIN TV in which HBO Family temporarily replaced Fox affiliate WVBT from Cox's Hampton Roads, Virginia system from January to February 2000.
|Launched on October 31, 2000 (although originally slated to debut on September 18 of that year), HBO Latino is a channel aimed at Hispanic and Latino American audiences that largely serves as a Spanish language simulcast of the primary HBO channel, with the exception of some limited program substitutions and different network promotions featured in-between programs (HBO and its other multiplex channels also utilize the second audio program function included on many television sets, and cable and satellite receivers to provide alternate Spanish language audio tracks of most programs). The channel's programming includes HBO original productions, Spanish and Portuguese series from HBO Latin America, dubbed versions of Hollywood blockbusters, Spanish-language films and boxing events (including the original boxing series Boxeo De Oro). The channel is the successor to HBO en Español (originally named Selecciones en Español de HBO y Cinemax), which launched in 1989.|
|HBO Signature features high quality films, HBO original series and specials. Launched in 1991, the channel was originally known as "HBO 3" until October 1998, when its format was changed from a genericized format similar to HBO and HBO2 to focusing on movies, series and specials targeted at a female audience.|
|Launched on May 6, 1999, HBO Zone airs movies and HBO original programs aimed at young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 years old. It is also the only HBO channel that broadcasts softcore pornographic programming, featuring adult-oriented movies similar to those seen on sister network Cinemax's Max After Dark block on most days in late-night.|
HBO HD is a high definition simulcast feed of HBO that broadcasts in the 1080iTemplate:Verify-inline resolution format. In addition to its main channel, HBO also operates high definition simulcast feeds of its six multiplex channels. HBO HD is available on most major cable providers including Cox Communications; DirecTV; Charter Communications; Time Warner Cable; Dish Network; Comcast; AT&T U-verse; Optimum; and Verizon FiOS, although few providers offer all seven multiplex channels in HD. The main channel first began broadcasting in high definition on March 6, 1999.
HBO on Demand
HBO on Demand is the channel's subscription video-on-demand service; launched on July 1, 2001 on Time Warner Cable's Columbia, South Carolina system, it was the first subscription VOD service offered by a premium channel in the United States. HBO on Demand offers a selection of movies, original series and specials previously seen on the network.The service is provided at no additional cost to HBO subscribers, who already regularly pay a premium fee to cable and satellite providers to receive access to the channel. HBO launched the VOD service in an effort to allow subscribers access to the channel's programming on their own schedules, thereby reducing the frequency in which viewers were unable to find a program they would like to watch as well as limiting cancellations to the service for that same reason. HBO on Demand features a rotating selection of films, specials and series, with select new titles added each Friday alongside existing program titles held over from the previous one to two weeks.
The standard definition and high definition versions of the HBO on Demand service are available on most cable and satellite providers, delivered to customers who subscribe to the linear HBO channels at no additional charge. On January 3, 2011, HBO became the first premium channel and the first cable network to offer a 3D-only VOD service as it launched a subscription video on demand service offering select feature films in 3D to Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Verizon FiOS customers who subscribe to the HBO service.
In the United Kingdom, a domestic version of HBO on Demand launched on TalkTalk TV in 2015, available through the provider's box sets as a strictly buy-and-keep service.
- Main article: HBO Go
On February 18, 2010, HBO launched HBO Go, a service that carries 1,000 hours of program content available for streaming in standard or high definition, intended as a TV Everywhere service available only to existing subscribers of the linear HBO television channels (a requirement necessary to access its content via streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV, and select video game consoles, as well as via its website and mobile apps). Content available on HBO Go includes theatrically released films as well as HBO original programs, movies, comedy specials, documentaries, sports and late night adult programming.
- Main article: HBO Now
On October 15, 2014, HBO announced plans to launch an over-the-top subscription video on demand service in 2015, which would be distributed as a standalone offering that does not require an existing television subscription to use. The service, HBO Now, was unveiled on March 9, 2015, and officially launched one month later on April 7. The service was initially available via Apple Inc. to Apple TV and iOS devices for a three-month exclusivity period following its formal launch, before becoming available for subscription through other participating Internet service providers. Available for $15 per month, HBO Now is identical to HBO Go in terms of content and features. New episodes of HBO series are made available for streaming the same day, and usually at the same time, as their original broadcast on the main linear HBO channel. Apple's App Store features promotions offering free one-month trials or other incentives to subscribe to HBO Now, as the program is in partnership with Apple Inc. and Apple TV. The number of HBO Now subscribers reached over 2 million by February 2017.
- Main article: Cinemax
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