HBO commences international streaming expansion

HBO gets serious about expanding internationally with plans to launch in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Dan Barrett

Following in the footsteps of Netflix, HBO has begun the international expansion of its streaming video service HBO Go.

HBO Latin America will launch HBO Go as a paid online service in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting with a launch in Colombia by the end of this year, the broadcaster plans to roll out the service in markets throughout the region. The service will offer original series from the HBO and MAX channels, such as Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight and The Leftovers, as well as access to a library of up to 2,500 movies.

HBO already offer a dedicated streaming service in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland called HBO Nordic. Launched in 2012, HBO Nordic was used as a testing ground for HBO’s streaming services prior to the launch of the US-only HBO Now.

The move strongly echoes the international expansion of Netflix. In 2011, Netflix began streaming in Latin America where they could capitalise on higher population levels than the US market offered. Currently, Latin America has a population of just under 600 million people. They launched into the Caribbean soon after.

When the new HBO Go platform launches it will offer multiple languages, providing a user with the option to choose which language (Spanish, English or Portuguese) the platform is displayed in, program audio tracks, subtitles and a live HBO linear channel. The new platform will be available to subscribers directly, or will be available as free bundled add-on for existing subscribers of their TV service.

In Australia, new HBO content is made available on Foxtel’s Showcase channel and through the Foxtel Go on-demand content app. Older catalogue of HBO titles are available to subscribers on Presto and Quickflix.

A Foxtel spokesperson tells Mediaweek, “Foxtel has a strong relationship and long term arrangement with HBO in this territory so Foxtel is the home of first run HBO content for Australian audiences. The best way for consumers to see HBO’s newest content is via Foxtel or Foxtel Play services with Presto also offering a fantastic suite of full seasons of HBO programming on its SVOD service.”

HBO has not yet indicated an intention to launch a stand-alone streaming service in Australia.

Photo: HBO’s Game Of Thrones

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