HBO will be launching a streaming service in Spain before the end of the year, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
Moving forward, HBO will stop licensing its shows to pay TV services in the country and instead retain the exclusive rights for its streaming offering.
Richard Pepler, CEO of HBO, said that long-term profits from its Spanish streaming service should more than make up for the loss of licensing income.
“We follow the money,” Plepler told Bloomberg. “We’re making a determination of where we think the most profits lie.”
HBO has already launched a streaming service in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, dubbed HBO Nordic. More recently, it began offering HBO Go — usually available only to cable subscribers — as a standalone streaming service in Colombia, and it plans to follow suit in other Latin American and Caribbean markets.
Expanding its streaming service is seen as an important move for HBO, which has traditionally been available only as part of a pricey premium cable package, leading cord-cutters and cord-nevers to pirate its series, especially “Game of Thrones,” which has been deemed the most-pirated show ever. Spain has been one of the top countries for illegal downloads of the show along with the U.S. — number one, with a 10% share — followed by fellow runners-up France, Brazil, China, Russia, UK, India, Canada and Australia.
Spanish piracy should be a concern for all media IP owners. According to a study of piracy and digital content consumer habits conducted by GFK for the Coalition Against Piracy released last year, eighty eight percent of all digital content consumed in Spain is being obtained illegally.