Advanced Television

Movistar signs HBO, hits 2m pay-TV subs

January 30, 2015

From David Del Valle in Madrid

richard-boardwalkMovistar and HBO have signed an agreement that will see TV series such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Girls distributed via Telefonica’s online VoD service.

Movistar TV will offer the first three seasons of Game of Thrones and the first four seasons of Boardwalk Empire. Three seasons each of In Treatment and Girls also will be available.

This deal comes at a time when Telefonica’s pay-TV service Movistar TV has reached 2 million subscriptions doubling the number of subs in a year, becoming the pay-TV service with the highest growth worldwide in 2014.

Movistar TV is garnering an average of 100,000 subscribers per month and has become the main driving force behind pay TV development in Spain over the last year. In September, the company had 1.6 million clients.

“In 2014 we have taken a giant step forward that we want to continue in 2015”, said Luis Miguel Gilperez, president of Telefonica España. Telefonica is targetting 4 million subscribers this year

Telefonica is strongly relying on exclusive TV content, above all sports (football, Moto GP), to capture subscriptions. The company is set to launch new channels and functionalities in their services by June.

In March, Telefonica will know whether the competition regulator CNMC has given its green light to its purchase of Canal Plus or has imposed tough limits on the acquisition.

Its main rivals, Vodafone and Orange are urging CNMC to open up its exclusive TV content to other operators to avoid a monopoly. Telefonica has rejected this and threatened to abandon Canal Plus acquisition if that or other tough obligations are imposed by the regulator.

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