News Roundup: HBO and The Rolling Stones, HBONordic and CNN


HBOWatch has once again cobbled some news items about HBO from here and abroad. That’s right, as a piece of news below indicates HBO is expanding its product overseas. Plus, here is some programming news a little closer to home; like right on our TV dial. Here now the news.


  • HBO sets dates for a rock ‘n roll documentary.

The Rolling Stones are marking their 50th anniversary this year. Surely, there are some sort of big plans in the works for the British band. If nothing else, HBO is celebrating with the airing of a documentary premiering November 15th.

The film is entitled CROSSFIRE HURRICANE. If you find that an odd title for the documentary note that it is a phrase from the Stone’s 1968 single “Jumpin Jack Flash”. In fact, it is from the first line of the song: “I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain, But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas!
Rolling_StonesBut it’s all right. I’m jumpin’ jack flash. It’s a gas, gas, gas!

The director or maybe, editor is a better word, behind the work is Brett Morgen who was responsible for the documentary THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE. That piece, about Hollywood wunderkind Robert Evans, also aired on HBO. The Rolling Stones film promises a in-depth history lesson as it chronicles all the high & low points in the band’s career. It covers it all.

This writer thinks, however, that the only thing missing is a full-on concert from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. HBO needs another epic concert on the channel. The Rolling Stones would fit wonderfully. Face it, they may not be pretty to look at but, they can still rock with a great catalog of songs. Again, don’t miss this documentary on November 15th.


  • CNN airs HBO content.

If you have been keeping track of CNN as of late you know that the 24-hour news channel is not faring well. Its audience has been in decline causing its ratings to dip to the lowest in twenty years. Since HBO and CNN are both owned by Time, Warner the brass thought it logical to have HBO’s award-winning content appear on the news channel where appropriate. So, CNN will, from time to time, air sports and documentaries that have aired on the cnn-logopremier pay channel.

Already, on September 1st, the news channel aired 41, the George H. W. Bush documentary and on September 2nd it aired TEDDY: IN HIS OWN WORDS about Senator Edward M. Kennedy. CNN has made plans to make non-scripted material for week-ends and late night and HBO content is said to work perfectly into those plans. Though no scheduled titles have been listed at this time, CNN will dole out product as the line-up allows.

HBO seems willing to offer viewership of this kind of content outside of its channel & HBOGo according to Mark Whitaker, executive vice-president of CNN. He says “documentaries were different from series like TRUE BLOOD and GAME OF THRONES in that HBO does not make them for ratings or to attract new subscribers, but for the prestige and critical attention documentaries bring. I think their view is that they’ve already made the investment and the filmmakers have made the investment and they’d like to see the work get more exposure.” Mr. Whitaker said.

So, if that kind of programming is your interest non-subscribers, check CNN’s schedule.


  • HBO offers Scandinavia more Content

HBOWatch has already causally reported in a previous News Roundup that the countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden & Denmark would receive an HBO channel sometime soon. As we do in the U. S. they must subscribe to it via their cable subscription. Now, we learn that HBO is also going to be offering those Nordic countries a streaming service, their equivalent to HBOGO. The service, named HBO Nordic AB, will allow customers to stream subtitled versions of the same content available in the US. They can stream HBO’s media library at The service will cost Scandinaviaapproximately 12.50 US$. The catch that might interest or infuriate Americans is that – the Norse citizenry can subscribe to either the channel or the streaming service without subscribing to the other. They do not have to pay for the channel in order to see enjoy the streamed content like we do here in the States!

Now before you rush over there to watch HBO shows know that I’ve been to the site and it clearly states that the service is not available in this region. But a door has been opened, a precedent has been set. There are people in this world that will soon enjoy streamed HBO content without being gouged from a cable or satellite service first. Will other European countries get this privilege? We will have to wait and see.

We are sure followers of HBO and HBOWatch have some comments worth making on that topic. Feel free to post about it or the other news stated here. We’d love to know.


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