HBO is bringing its international original series to the U.S. for the first time — shows which, at home, are bigger than Game of Thrones. Beginning in December, two programs from each of the regional outposts HBO Europe, Latin America and Asia will be made available on streaming services HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO on Demand. HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler revealed the news during his keynote speech here at Mipcom this evening.
HBO has invested significantly in local programming and it’s paid off, Plepler said, noting that local fare “always outperforms even Game of Thrones.”
“We want to have a shared vision with the creative team in the U.S. and around the world,” he said. “Decisions made in the U.S. to elevate the brand are similar to the conversations we have around the world.”
The programming that’s headed Stateside includes Czech Republic mini Wastelandand Seasons 1 and 2 of Polish series Pakt from HBO Europe. From HBO Asia, Taiwanese series The Teenage Psychic and the first two seasons of Indonesian/Thai series Halfworlds will be made available. And from HBO Latin America are Seasons 1 and 2 of El Hinotizador and the new Brazilian drama La Vida Secreta de la Parejas.
Plepler also noted today that 2017 will be HBO’s biggest year of subscription growth in its 45-year history. “Our brand is about curated excellence, and we believe that if we continue to do that, there will continue to be a huge market.”
He allowed there is a “surfeit of programming out there. Nobody can keep up with all of this. There’s good stuff out there, mediocre stuff out there and not-so-good stuff. What will matter more than ever as we go forward is brands and the sacredness of quality brands.”
He continued, “Even amidst all the competition and the fierceness of the competition, the [talent] line at our door today is bigger than five years ago.”
Speaking of the competition, Plepler said: “We’re not trying to be Netflix. We’ve grown their business, they have grown ours. We overindex in each other’s homes.”