Netflix begins streaming HBO shows under new licensing deal

NetflixNetflix has begun streaming HBO show Insecure as part of a new licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery that will see a range of HBO shows distributed by the rival streamer.

Netflix will reportedly also stream HBO shows Ballers, Band of Brothers, The Pacific and Six Feet Under via the deal. The shows will be available both via Netflix and Warner Max.

Another show, True Blood, which has been streaming on Hulu in the US, will be shown on Netflix internationally.

The licensing deal between the rival media outfits was first reported by US trade Deadline in June.

Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav had previously indicated that he was open to licensing shows to third party distributors as the media group sought to place itself on a sound financial footing amid cost-cutting and the axing of a number of shows.

Speaking at the RBC Capital Markets Conference last November, Zaslav highlighted flaws in a streaming mode that saw WBD spend US$7 billion on shows in 2022 while losing about US$3 billion.

Zaslav said that much of the content made available via streaming was not being monetised effectively, and raised the prospect that some of it could be licensed non-exclusively to third parties without impacting adversely on the performance of the core streaming business.

He also raised the prospect that the company might introduce a Tubi/Pluto style AVOD service in due course.

The media giant struck agreements to launch FAST channels for some key shows with The Roku Channel and Fox’s Tubi platform in February.

WBD consolidated its own key streaming services, HBO Max and discovery+ into a single combined offering, Max, in May, in a move described by president and CEO, global streaming and games JB Perrette as an attempt to “simplify and improve the experience for consumers” after an “era of peak confusion”.

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