HBO Will Launch Streaming Service in Spain by the End of 2016
Noting that Spain has a high rate of homes with broadband connectivity, HBO will launch a standalone streaming service there by the end of this year. HBO already offers similar service to Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, called HBO Nordic. HBO hasn't yet announced price or content for the new service, but did say that it will now retain rights to its original content in Spain rather than licensing rights to competing services.
HBO sees more growth abroad than in the U.S. While this move seems small compared to Netflix's recent rollout in over 130 countries, HBO doesn't plan to offer the same streaming service in all markets. As Bloomberg notes, HBO licenses its content in many European countries, a lucrative strategy that it has no plans to end. In fact, HBO recently extended licensing deals in Canada, Italy, and Germany.
The Spain rollout comes with its own challenges, including competing streaming services (such as Telefonica SA and Netflix) and high rates of streaming piracy. However, the fact that roughly 75 percent of Spanish homes have broadband connectivity and many do not subscribe to pay TV service make it an attractive market. HBO is looking to expand its standalone service to other countries, but isn’t ready to make other announcements.