Time Warner’s HBO plans to widen its streaming competition against Netflix to Spain this year.
The premium cable network will launch a digital service in the country before the end of the year, CEO Richard Plepler said in an interview with Bloomberg published on Tuesday, noting that HBO chose to “follow the money” in picking its next international rollout. An HBO spokesman confirmed the report to TheWrap, but said there were no additional details.
The move underscores the growing business importance of content that can reach global markets, as Internet distribution lowers barriers between regions. Earlier this month, HBO rival Netflix launched in 130 countries, making its original series and movies available in virtually every nation worldwide except for China.
HBO is no stranger to global audiences. In addition to selling DVDs and downloads, licensing its programming and running its own TV networks abroad, it has long operated a streaming service in Nordic countries. It also launched a streaming option in Colombia last year, the first in a series of Latin American rollouts.
Last year, the company unveiled HBO Now in the U.S., making it the first premium cable company to offer consumers the option of a pure online subscription without a pricey pay-TV package.
As it expands to Spain, the company will stop licensing its programming to pay-TV services there, making the forthcoming online subscription the only way Spanish fans can watch its content legally.