November 19, 2018
Seeking to keep pace with Netflix, HBO will reportedly launch over-the-top video service in Portugal in the first quarter of 2019.
The launch, first reported by Meios e Publicidade, aims to compete against Netflix, which operates mobile streaming service in Portugal through Vodafone. The SVOD behemoth launched pay-TV access in 2015.
The publication said HBO had opened an office in Lisbon, in addition to hiring Patrícia Reis as VP of marketing; Inês Martins de Almeida as distribution sales manager, and Cláudia Cristóvão coordinator of social media.
With more than 135 million subscribers globally, HBO rivals Netflix global sub footprint. With new corporate owner AT&T, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has made no secret his desire to expand HBO’s worldwide reach.
HBO reportedly is spending about $2 billion on original content in 2018 – a fraction of the $12 billion Netflix’s war chest.
Stankey in June at a town hall meeting said HBO faced a “tough year” as it ups content spending in order to “get bigger and broader” and keep Netflix in check.
The platform increased second season buzz surround award-winning “Big Little Lies” by adding Meryl Streep to the cast. It streams the biggest TV show in the world, “Game of Thrones,” in addition to “Westworld,” “Sharp Objects,” “True Detective,” and upstart British comedy “Sally4Ever,” among others, domestically.
“HBO has a unique, high-quality, emotionally-charged product,” Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Observer.com.“It can scale 2 to 3X output without sacrificing brand integrity. But, transforming into a Netflix ‘slayer’ suddenly will mean massive means, an investment unlikely to come in the scale needed to be a serious competitive threat, but it could still help HBO compete far better.”