HBO Planned to Launch Streaming Service in Spain to Rival Netflix

By Staff Writer

Jan 19, 2016 05:50 AM EST

Home Box Office (HBO) is planning to launch its streaming service as a standalone online service in Spain by the end of this year.  The company will take on Netflix head-to-head it a new forefront of European market in video streaming.

The introduction of streaming service will allow HBO to have exclusive rights to its original show without licensing its program to Spanish pay-TV service provider. This mean the premium cable company will give up its licensing service. As a result, fans of HBO in Spain will only be able to watch its first-run program through the new streaming service.

However by offering its Web service, the company believes it can make more money in the long term. HBO Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler told Bloomberg in an interview, "We follow the money. We're making a determination of where we think the most profits lie."

Spain is the last frontier where the New York-based company has to entice cord cutter, a term to define people who cancel their cable TV subscription or never sign up. Previously, HBO offered its streaming in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark in a service called HBO Nordic. In April last year, its stand-alone online service was launched in U.S., and Colombia followed at the end of 2015, with expansion plan to Latin America.

By its Spanish streaming service, HBO takes on Netflix on a new frontline of European market. So far, Netflix has expanded its international operation to 190 countries with a total of 70 million customers. Netflix also prepared to double its children content to 35 programs from previous 15 programs.

Chief content officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos explained the reason to enlarge its kid program on Sunday as reported by Market Watch, "Families have subscribers with kids in the house, and they tend to be much more engaged."

Netflix has prepared an enormous budget of $6 billion to develop its original content. That will pose a serious threat for HBO's children program such as Fraggle Rock, Henry's Cat and its most famous Sesame Street. The Guardian reported that HBO most famous original children program, Sesame Street is the battlefield in the streaming wars for kids' TV.

Along with more than four decades of experience in television industry, HBO is a serious rival for video streaming service provider such as Netflix. Especially, with a large number of original content, HBO has the upper hand. Especially, Netflix international expansion has faced challenge from an alliance of local streaming service in Canada, France, Nordics, Australia and New Zealand.

Spain will be a new battlefront for video streaming service in 2016. HBO, Netflix and European streaming company such as Canal Plus will compete to win the cord-cutter in the Iberian peninsula country.

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