Good News: Foxtel Has Renewed Its Contract For HBO Content
— Updated on 10 March 2023

Good News: Foxtel Has Renewed Its Contract For HBO Content

— Updated on 10 March 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Just a few short month ago, in a development that mirrored plotlines from both Succession and House of the Dragon, Foxtel and Nine Entertainment Co were in a heated battle to stake their respective claims upon the coveted HBO content catalogue.

To make matters a little more interesting, HBO parent company Warner Bros Discovery had also considered entering the domestic market with an Asia Pacific equivalent to HBO Max and Discovery+, thereby potentially removing the need for a middleman altogether.

By all accounts, the vaunted library of time-killing delights were about to be splintered, and Aussies would’ve been required to pony up for yet another subscription just to stream the stuff they actually cared about, i.e. the shows listed above, The Last of Us, Industry, White Lotus, True Detective: Night Country, Euphoria, The Idol, and more.

Thankfully, that fate has been avoided (at least for now). Foxtel and Warner Bros Discovery have officially renewed their multi-year exclusivity agreement, while also “hinting at future flexibility” for when the latter’s domestic streaming service finally arrives.

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Good News: Foxtel Has Renewed Its Contract For HBO Content

“As we look to drive strategic growth of our business across all platforms locally, this deal also provides optionality for future collaboration,” said James Gibbons, Warner Bros Discover President & Managing Director (Western Pacific).

“Including for our future streaming service, that will ultimately offer Australians greater access to the world-class storytelling and much-loved brands Warner Bros Discovery is renowned for.”

“We have a very established history with Warner Bros Discovery in Australia,” stated Amanda Laing, Foxtel Group Chief Content & Commercial Officer.

“The future is now even brighter for both our companies as a result of this deal as it ensures the continued evolution of both businesses in Australia, with our unique combination of assets and our strong subscriber base providing scale and reach.”

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While an exact figure hasn’t been assigned to the contract extension, as you can probably imagine, it didn’t come cheap. Enough to make a dent in Foxtel’s $2.5 billion “broadcast rights” war chest that’s been set aside for the next five years.

Back in 2020, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp successfully outbid Nine (Stan) to secure the exclusive cable television and streaming rights to HBO’s prestige programming – as well as Warner Bros Discovery’s greatest hits – for Foxtel and its subsidiary platforms (Foxtel GO, Binge).

At its peak, this iteration of the deal was valued at approximately $200 million per year, which certainly feels like money well spent considering netizens routinely flock towards the likes of Foxtel Now and Binge for this very drawcard. According to industry sources, the new deal is even more expensive than the previous arrangement.

But Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney has dismissed concerns surrounding what can only be described as the cost of doing business.

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Good News: Foxtel Has Renewed Its Contract For HBO Content

“What we bought delivers the value. It’s a strategic decision,” assured Chief Content Officer Amanda Laing.

“These are huge numbers. We won’t talk about the specific percentage of viewing that it represents, clearly, we think it’s important content… and it’s fundamental to continue to be the driver of the continued growth of Binge.”

A recent report titled Australia Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics released by the consultancy and research firm, Media Partners Asia, indicated the current market share of streaming services in Australia is as follows:

  1. Netflix (30% subscriptions | 50% viewing time)
  2. Disney (17% subscriptions | 16% viewing time)
  3. Amazon Prime Video (17% subscriptions | 9% viewing time)
  4. Foxtel Now, Binge, Kayo (12% subscriptions | 14% viewing time)
  5. Stan (11% subscriptions | 8% viewing time)
  6. Other (13% subscriptions | 3% viewing time)

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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