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August 29, 2015

HBO to launch in the UK

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 15th 2007 9:20AM

HBOHBO has plans to launch its HBO SVOD service in the UK, marking the first time the cable channel has launched its own channel in the UK market. The new on-demand service will be available on BT Vision, Tiscali TV and Virgin Media and will feature original miniseries; television series, comedy specials and documentaries. No dates have been set just yet as to when the new service will be available.

Here's a question for the UK readers: what do you think of this new service? The press release reads that HBO programs are popular in the UK, and I'm curious as to which shows you like and which ones you don't. Or, if you even give a flying fig newton* about HBO at all.

*Please excuse my language.

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Steven Andrew Miller

"i watch only watch rome from HBO, which is made by BBC."

Rome is not made by BBC, it is a HBO show that the BBC co-produces. From Wikipedia:

"In 2002, HBO and the BBC agreed to co-produce a new series based on the events of the "Roman Revolution": Rome. Towards that end, the two networks committed a US$100 million budget to the production of twelve 1-hour episodes, with HBO contributing US$85 million, and the BBC contributing US$15 million."

February 17 2007 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eddie Cochrane

HBO shows do pretty well on UK TV. Not always big numbers, but big on the channels that show them, and they generally get a lot of critical acclaim from British TV critics. The Sopranos and Six Feet Under are big shows for Channel 4, Deadwood was pretty big on Sky, Rome does well on BBC2. The Wire is a big show on FX UK, as is Carnivàle, though the channel itself has a small share.
Not all of the half-hour comedies have faired as well. Sex In The City was absolutely huge here, but Curb Your Enthusiasm did poorly originally on BBC2 until they decided to re-run it from the start on BBC4 (a smaller, more specialised channel). Entourage is a bit buried on ITV2, but they are still showing it, and doing cross-marketing and targeted promotion for it, so it may yet pick up a bigger audience. Some of the HBO series and mini-series, Rome, Extras, Band of Brothers have been co-productions with the BBC and so have had a lot of impact.
Personally I can't get enough of the HBO shows, they have consistantly featured among my favourite TV shows. Though, despite my high respect for the network, I would happily bludgeon to death the HBO exec who cancelled Deadwood. Because HBO shows are on channels in the UK which are either free-to-air, or standard cable/satellite, the proportion of people who can see them is probably bigger than in the USA. That means they can even build a mass audience, the way Sex In The City did on Channel 4.

February 15 2007 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder if it will show progs that are "current" in the HBO schedules in the US. I will get it for free due to the package I have with Virgin Media, but I'll reserve my judgement until I see what shows will air in the UK.

February 15 2007 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can't really speak for most people in the UK, but when I lived over there The Sopranos were hugely popular. Actually, the shows my friends talk about most are US shows, including 24 and Lost.

February 15 2007 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i watch only watch rome from HBO, which is made by BBC. The shows on HBO are good quality, but i prefer british tv shows. i wont be able to get hbo on demand anyway, because we have satllite tv, where we cant get things on demand.

February 15 2007 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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