Eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that HBO planned on licensing out Issa Rae’s hit dramedy Insecure to Netflix (US) for a bit of extra cash. Little did we know, this was just the tip of the iceberg…
Netflix has since confirmed its platform will soon welcome an entire slew of (other) highly-coveted HBO properties thanks to a co-exclusive agreement with the latter’s parent company, Warner Bros Discovery, and in turn, rival streaming service Max (formerly HBO Max).
Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Six Feet Under, and Ballers are also set to appear in Netflix’s US library; with True Blood, which is currently available on the Disney-owned Hulu, heading to Netflix outside of the US.
While this represents quite a significant partnership given Netflix’s ubiquity + mass reach and the prestige nature of HBO’s content, there are still some unanswered questions surrounding its implications for the streaming world beyond North America.
Digital Spy, for one, had learned from Netflix themselves that “certain territories” outside of the US will be able to access the aforementioned shows, but not the UK.
As for the situation on home soil, as some of you may already be aware, Foxtel has only recently renewed its exclusivity agreement with Warner Bros Discovery — breaking out its $2.5 billion “broadcast rights” war chest to stake its claim for the cable company itself, as well as Foxtel’s own streaming platforms (i.e. Foxtel GO, Binge).
Warner Bros Discovery did, however, “hint at future flexibility” for whenever it chooses to finally launch HBO Max / Max here in Australia.
“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, who seemed to be maintaining an unflappable air of optimism.
“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.”
In short, for the time being, Aussies streamers shouldn’t be expecting any HBO originals to land in their Netflix queues. But all good things come with time.
Perhaps the next time the contract is up for bidding, neither Rupert Murdoch nor Nine Entertainment Co will be able to match Netflix’s sheer appetite for both content and throwing money at a problem.