HBO to Launch Scandinavian Service in Mid-October
Time Warner's HBO on Thursday unveiled the start date and further details about its previously announced launch in Scandinavia, including that it won't require a pay TV subscription like HBO in the U.S.
The company's new joint venture with Parsifal International, to be known as HBO Nordic, will begin offering "a linear and on-demand premium pay TV service" in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in mid-October, the partners said.
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"HBO will offer both subscription and transactional video-on-demand services, providing premium content directly to consumers via HBO Nordic's untethered, "over-the-top" platform, hbonordic.com, and also via local distribution partners," they added.
All programs offered on the service "will be available to subscribers for less than €10 ($12.50)" at hbonordic.com.
Earlier this month, HBO only said that the service would be "a multi-platform video distribution venture," with more details to be announced later.
It will compete with Netflix's planned service in the region, which is scheduled to become available some time in the fourth quarter. Thursday's timing details mean that HBO will likely be out of the gate first.
HBO Nordic will offer subscribers all seasons and behind- the-scene materials of such shows as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, True Blood, Veep and classics like Sex and the City, The Sopranos and The Wire. Also on offer will be new series premiering in the Nordics from other content providers, such as Magic City and Borgia.
The HBO Nordic content offering will also include feature films from major Hollywood and international studios, plus local distributors and independents.
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“We saw a rapid change in Nordic TV consumption these past years," said HBO Nordic CEO Herve Payan. "Our target group is younger and more urban than the existing premium pay TV subscribers and they consume TV on multiple screens, particularly on computers, smartphones and tablets."
He added that most of them associate HBO with "best in class series" and that "we view this as a unique opportunity for HBO to grow digital pay TV subscriptions in the region."