HBO’s Euro expansion reaches to Romania

Will launch pay movie channel in January

Home Box Office is launching a pay movie channel to cable subscribers in Romania beginning in January.

The country represents the second-largest cable market in central Europe, with 2.5 million subscribers. As part of HBO’s initial distribution, the service will be available to 83,000 subs in the Transylvania region in Cluj-Napoca and in Alba-Julia.

“This new service builds on our success in central and eastern Europe,” said HBO Intl. exec VP Bill Hooks, who announced the launch Thursday. “We’re approaching Romania with the strategy that has worked well for us in our other ventures — localizing the channel to fit the entertainment needs of the region’s subscribers.”

HBO in Romania will be broadcast in the local lingo, and already has exclusive programming arrangements with Warner Bros., Disney and Sony, as well as with indie suppliers such as Morgan Creek, Rysher and Rank.

Pavel Stantchev is managing director of the venture, which will at the outset broadcast 12 hours a day.

As with HBO’s seven other cable channels located in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, HBO’s Romanian spinoff will be digitally uplinked from Budapest and carried on the AMOS-1 satellite.

–Elizabeth Guider

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