* HBO Nordic to launch in mid-October on TV, Web
* Online service priced at 10 euros
By Yinka Adegoke
Aug 30 Premium TV channel HBO will launch a
Web-only service in Nordic countries that does not require the
customer to be signed up with a pay TV service such as cable or
HBO Nordic, which is a joint venture between Time Warner Inc
-owned HBO and Parsifal International, will roll out both
a premium TV service and the Web service in Denmark, Sweden,
Norway and Finland from mid-October.
It will be going into competition with Netflix Inc
which is expected launch its own Nordic streaming service
All of HBO's popular award winning TV shows including 'Game
of Thrones' and 'Boardwalk Empire' will be available on the HBO
Nordic streaming service for less than 10 euros.
At home in the United States HBO has frequently resisted
calls from consumers and industry watchers to offer its popular
HBO Go online service as a standalone service at any price. To
gain access to HBO Go, a customer would need to be a paying
premium TV subscriber with a channel package, including premium
channels, typically priced from around $100.
Executives at HBO argue that separating HBO Go in the U.S.
would cannibalize their business and reduce the profits
generated to help create the high-quality TV shows for which the
network is known.
HBO Nordic CEO Hervé Payan said in a statement that
offering the online service is one way HBO could grow its
digital pay-TV subscriptions in the region.
The network is rolling out its HBO Go on-demand service
internationally. It provides streamed movies to HBO subscribers
in nine European countries. Service in Brazil is planned soon.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once described HBO Go as the
biggest competitor to his company's subscription video rental
service, which offers on-demand viewing for $8 a month in the
United States. He also has said the two services are
complementary and in July raised the possibility of a
partnership, an idea that HBO quickly knocked down.
Like HBO, Netflix is trying to tap new markets while growth
in the United States slows.