HBO has announced plans to go over the top with the launch of a standalone internet-delivered service in the United States.

Previously US viewers have only been able to subscribe to HBO – and its existing on demand service HBO Go – via their cable or satellite provider. Around 30 million have thus far chosen to do so.

“It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO,” said chief executive Richard Plepler. “All in all, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO, and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them”.

No information on pricing has been released an there is already speculation as to how the service might be differentiated from HBO Go and be positioned in a manner so as to not lose the faith of the cable and satellite platforms.

It goes without saying that HBO is trying to shore up its position against Netflix.

There is already a precedent in HBO Nordic, the company’s first standalone service launched in the autumn of 2012.

Mediavision estimates the service to have 100,000 subscribers in the Swedish market against 640,000 for Netflix.