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Watch out Netflix. US broadcaster HBO is coming for your marketshare with its own online-only streaming service next year.

That means anyone with an internet connection will be able to watch HBO's output without needing a cable subscription.

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler made the announcement in an investor meeting for parent company Time Warner.

He noted there are 10 million broadband-only homes at the moment, and that equates to a huge untapped market for HBO TV content.

"That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped," he said.

"It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO. So, in 2015, we will launch a standalone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States.

"We will work with our current partners. And we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them."

For us fans of HBO's shows – from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' to 'Game of Thrones' to 'Boardwalk Empire' – it's very good news indeed. Less so for the likes of Sky, whose Sky Atlantic channel thrives on HBO programmes.

There are three potential distribution models for the service. HBO could offer it through its existing cable partners, distribute through partners like Amazon, Google or Microsoft, or go it alone and market it direct to punters, as Netflix does.

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