HBO Max, Warner Media’s new HBO-anchored streaming service, will launch in Canada next year thanks to an extension of Bell Media’s deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.
The deal, which will make new HBO Max original content available to Canadians via Bell Media’s Crave streaming service, is a first for HBO Max programming outside of the U.S.
Set to launch stateside in May, at a premium price of $15 USD a month, HBO Max will initially boast 10,000 hours of content including about three dozen original series, in addition to HBO original programming, and a back catalogue of titles like Friends, South Park, Doctor Who, and Rick and Morty. It also plans to carry select podcasts on its mobile app.
The Bell Media deal extends the pay TV rights for Warner Bros. first-run feature films and encompasses new scripted series produced for HBO Max, including the new Gossip Girl reboot; comedic thriller The Flight Attendant, starring Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and Rosie Perez; Dune: The Sisterhood from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve and set in the Frank Herbert Dune universe; and new Mindy Kaling project College Girls (working title) about the romantic lives of three young women at an East Coast university.
Series in development include two DC dramas from Berlanti Productions – Green Lantern and the anthology Strange Adventures; DC drama DMZ, from Westworld writer Roberto Patino and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay; drama Crime Farm, executive produced by Nicole Kidman; young adult series Red Bird Lane; Rules of Magic from Jessica Jones producers Melissa Rosenberg and Dana Barrata; The Shelley Society from Riverdale writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; hybrid live-action/animated comedy Tooned Out from Jared Stern (The LEGO Batman Movie) and Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit); and comedy DC Super Hero High from executive producer Elizabeth Banks.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of the all-new Crave, we’re more committed than ever to ensure ongoing access to the highest caliber content,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “With this new HBO Max agreement, we are expanding our long and successful partnership with HBO and Warner Bros. and demonstrating this commitment to premium content in an era of increasing competition.”
“Bell Media has been an important partner with its channels and platforms bringing HBO originals to viewers in Canada for many years,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, in a release. “It is only fitting we are not only extending this relationship but also deepening it to include great new series produced for HBO Max.”
Bell Media says more details on the rollout of HBO Max programming in Canada will be confirmed in the coming months.
A Bell Media spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue that dependant on the program, some HBO Max offerings may not be Crave exclusives and could show up on its terrestrial specialty channels like CTV Sci-Fi (formerly Space) or CTV Life Channel.
The content deal is the latest amidst an increasingly crowded streaming landscape. Apple TV+ goes live Nov. 1, while Disney+ is set to launch in Canada and the U.S. on Nov. 12.
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