Foxtel in Australia has struck a new exclusive pact with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) for HBO and HBO Max programming, with “optionality at the core” of the deal.
The agreement means current and future seasons of HBO’s series such as House Of The Dragon, The Last Of Us, Succession and The White Lotus will remain available via Foxtel networks and its sibling streamer Binge. Details of the new deal, including its length, have not been revealed.
Similar output arrangements for HBO shows, particularly in Europe where Sky has held exclusive rights for more than a decade, are being closely scrutinised as WBD explores when and where to launch its new combined streaming service that will replace HBO Max.
WBD had been expected to launch HBO Max in Oz next year but it has been overhauling its DTC strategy over recent months and been looking to increase revenue from its third-party sales. It is now planning to continue offering Discovery+ as a standalone offering, while Foxtel is preparing to launch its own aggregator offering next year.
The Aussie firm snagged rights to HBO shows in 2020, after they were relinquished by Nine Entertainment’s streamer Stan.
The new deal hands Foxtel rights to thousands of HBO hours, including returning seasons of Euphoria, True Detective: Night Country, Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty and Perry Mason.
HBO Max originals such as And Just Like That…, The Sex Lives of College Girls and Peacemaker are included, as well as upcoming HBO show The Idol and HBO Max shows such as Love & Death.
Warner Bros. Television series including The Flash, East New York and The Winchesters are also included, while carriage of networks such as Discovery, Discovery Turbo and TLC are part of the same agreement.
Foxtel Group CEO, Patrick Delany, said the “landmark partnership” placed “optionality at its core”. He added: “A unique business model like ours that covers multiple platforms and brands means we can partner for the long term and together we will continue to entertain millions of Australians every day for years to come.”
WBD president & MD of Western Pacific, James Gibbons, said: “As we look to drive strategic growth of our business across all platforms locally, this deal also provides optionality for future collaboration, 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.”
Foxtel Group chief content and commercial officer, Amanda Laing, said: “We are excited that our distribution of this much-loved content will extend to our new streaming aggregation product in the future. This innovative new deal speaks to our commitment to evolve and grow together and the trust and respect between Warner Bros. Discovery and the Foxtel Group.”