While in the US, requests for an HBO Go subscription option that brings the channel's programming without being tethered to a cable or satellite-TV package go unheeded, HBO revealed today that its Scandinavian offering will do just that. While the HBO Nordic joint venture between HBO and Parsifal International will be available over "local distribution partners," it is also available strictly as an over-the-top service for VOD and subscription access to premium content for less than €10 when it launches in October. It brings all the HBO current and catalog content you'd expect (subtitled for the local markets in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark) and it's also tossing in content from other providers, like the popular Canadian show Continuum. CEO Hervé Payan says it will be available on "any" internet connected device, and says the decision to go over the top is because its target group of viewer have changed their consumption to multiple screens.
Netflix revealed its own plans to expand to the region this fall on the same day HBO Nordic was originally announced, and CEO Reed Hastings welcomed the competition with a message on Facebook asking when HBO would bring the service to the USA, and joking that it expected the first match-up to be in Albania. In case you forgot, that last dig was a reference to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes 2010 statement comparing Netflix to the possibility of the Albanian army taking over the world. The battle is on this fall, we'll see if it's just a dry run for other regions soon.