Warner has officially unveiled its new streaming platform, calling it HBO Max.
The subscription platform offering is a big step for parent company AT&T, which is looking to enter the competitive and potentially lucrative OTT arena – a move that is also being undertaken by Disney (and, as part of that, Fox) and NBC. Rather than launch with the Warner name, its building on its existing brand to take on Netflix.
“Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be ‘Maximized’ with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia’s enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries,” the company announced in a press release this week.
The platform’s library will comprise TV shows, on-demand movies, some live primetime HBO shows and content from anything else Warner has in its vault. That means exclusive rights to every episode of Friends when it launches in spring 2020 – it is famously set depart Netflix in 2019. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars will follow suit, as well as dibs on some show’s from The CW, including Batwoman and Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene.
New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more will all fall under the HBO Max umbrella, as it looks to pull its shows from third-party sites that have licensed them to bolster its own streaming coffers. (NBC, similarly, will pull The Office to stream exclusively on its own app).
Of course, all of this is currently just for US audiences: in the UK, The CW Arrowverse shows are on Sky One, which means Warner may have longer deals in place until those third part agreements expire, or that Warner launch HBO Max for British subscribers much later. For now, here’s a video launching the new service:
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