HBO brings Norway streaming into the future

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What's that in the distance? It appears to be Game of Thrones on HBO Nordic (Photo: HBO)
17:58 CEST+02:00
Just two weeks after US company Netflix announced plans to expand to the Nordic countries, TV hit maker HBO on Thursday said it was preparing to launch an internet-streaming service in the region later this year.

The HBO announcement prompted Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to post the following message on his Facebook page on Thursday:

"Excited to see HBO join us in offering standalone streaming service in Scandinavia…what about the USA? We thought the first match-up would be in Albania."

HBO has long ruled out a stand-alone internet-only plan for US, but this service will soon be available in the Nordic countries.

So far Norwegians have been able to watch some of HBO's hit series, like 'The Wire' and 'True Blood', on national television network NRK and on the cable station Canal Plus.

Soon, however, Norwegian and other Nordic viewers will also be able to access HBO's programming online.

HBO announced on Thursday that it plans to launch a website called which will offer online subscriptions for under €10 per month ($12.50), Variety magazine reports.

The service will also be available as an add-on to basic pay-TV subscriptions in the region, according to the Reuters news agency.

Netflix, which offers online film streaming and DVD rental deliveries, plans to launch its services in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland by the end of this year.

HBO Nordic's streaming subscription offer will launch in the same countries as early as the middle of October.

While it's not yet clear who will win the HBO-Netflix battle, as the two US companies prepare to go head-to-head one thing is certain: Nordic TV and movie fans will be spoilt for choice, with hit shows like 'Game of Thrones' and a slew of popular films soon available on their desktops at the click of a mouse.

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