HBO Spielberg Doco Speeds By SoHo

After delaying its NZ premiere by six months, Sky has opted not to screen HBO’s take on Steven Spielberg on its SoHo channel.

SoHo is the home of HBO in NZ, not just its comedy and drama series but also talk shows, like Late Night With Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and a raft of one-off documentaries it uses to fill slots in-between one series ending and another beginning.

Alas, Spielberg will not be among them.

The only way to view it on Sky will be if you subscribe to its movie service. And even then you’ll have to be quick.

Spielberg will premiere at 3.45pm on June 23 and screen three times as part of a two-day pop-up tribute to the director that will include A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jaws, Amistad, The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report and Munich.

It’s probable the doco will resurface sporadically as filler on one of the movie channels but, inexplicably, Sky doesn’t plan to schedule Spielberg on SoHo. Could there be a sillier programming strategy than this?

Why limit a documentary that Sky thought good enough to platform on the Documentary Edge International Film Festival that’s unspooling in Auckland, where Spielberg will screen on June 3, to pop-up exposure — when the significance of its subject and the favourability of its US reviews suggest it warrants rotation on SoHo (especially when Sky has exclusive rights to HBO content)?

It’s also another slap in the face to SoHo subscribers. It’s because of the chance to view documentaries like this in HD that we pay extra for the channel.

How galling to see Spielberg squandered on another Sky service to which many of us don’t subscribe. Meanwhile, movie subscribers who are indifferent to SoHo get the channel as a bonus, anyway.

Words fail me, except to say … catch it if you can.

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11 Responses to “HBO Spielberg Doco Speeds By SoHo”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    May 29, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    It should be on Netflix instead 🙂

  2. Unfortunately, Trevor, because of Sky’s exclusive linear and streaming rights to HBO product in NZ, that’s not an option.

  3. Shambolic. Yet somehow not surprising.

  4. Hi Philip, I contacted SoHo a month ago to see if they were showing HBO’s Andre The Giant documentary – they said they wouldn’t be. Do you think that could possibly pop up on another channel? I believe this premiered in the US in April.

  5. Hard to say, Aiden. It’s possible Sky doesn’t have the rights as WWE was one of the co-producers and may have international distribution. In which case it could turn up on Maori TV given its WWE deal. Will see what I can find out …

  6. Much appreciated, thank you.

  7. Hi Aiden. Sky won’t be screening Andre the Giant because it falls outside its deal with HBO. It seems HBO licensed the documentary to screen in the US, so it’s not an HBO original. Sky only has access to HBO’s productions, not its acquisitions. So have asked Maori TV if they’ve acquired it through their WWE association and will let you know.

  8. I have my fingers crossed, thanks for investigating.

  9. Bad news, I’m afraid, Aiden, Maori TV isn’t picking up Andre the Giant. If I can ascertain a DVD release, I’ll let you know.

  10. It would be a good fit for ESPN based on their ‘30 For 30’ output, but I’d imagine that’s not realistic. Thanks again Philip.

  11. Spielberg now on the planner and recording set ??

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