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HBO will soon launch its first-ever streaming-only service with access to its extensive catalog of great TV shows and movies. Unfortunately, for now, the service will only be available in the Nordic countries and nowhere else.
Cord-cutters in the U.S. and around the world have been clamoring for some time for a way to subscribe to streaming-only HBO Go service without having to pay for cable. Regardless, HBO had continually pushed back and said only cable subscribers will get access to HBO content online.
But now it looks like HBO has decided to experiment with the Nordic countries. Variety reports that the new “HBO Nordic AB” service will be available in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland starting in mid-October. It will cost less than 10 euros a month.
Without mentioning it, HBO is setting itself up for a bloody fight with Netflix in international territories. Netflix just announced a few weeks ago that it intended to launch in the same four Nordic countries as HBO’s new service before the end of the year.
What we’re really interested to see is if HBO’s Nordic opportunity is successful, would HBO be willing to bring a streaming-only service to those in North America or other territories? Our guess is that HBO’s model is too profitable in U.S. right now for the company to offer Americans a streaming-only option. But other parts of the world could be looking at an HBO online invasion if the Nordics gain traction.
“Each market is unique, and HBO approaches each one with what we consider to believe the best business model specific to that territory,” an HBO spokesperson told Variety.
Game of Thrones photo: HBO