Sky and WBD Maximise Partnership

Hopes of a fully-fledged Max service launching here have been dashed by a new multi-year pact between Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Here’s the media release:

Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery renew long-term agreement in New Zealand

Auckland – July 7, 2023 – Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery today announced an extension of their long-established relationship with a multi-year content and platform agreement, securing Sky as the home of HBO, Max Originals, Warner Bros. and Discovery globally renowned programming for New Zealand audiences.

The agreement includes channel and content rights, spanning thousands of hours of some of the world’s most popular series and movies.

  • Continuation of Warner Bros. Discovery’s eight channel portfolio including Discovery, Discovery Turbo, Living Channel, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, Cartoon Network and CNN International.
  • Current and future seasons of HBO’s globally acclaimed series such as House of The Dragon, The Last of Us, The Idol, Succession and The White Lotus.
  • Returning seasons of True Detective: Night Country, Euphoria and Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.
  • HBO’s esteemed series and documentaries, including Game of Thrones, Sex & The City, Big Little Lies, Chernobyl and Veep.
  • Max Original series including Peacemaker, The Flight Attendant, as well as highly anticipated premieres such as The Penguin.
  • Future Warner Bros. blockbuster movies and a vast film library including the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and DC Universe movies.

Sky Chief Executive Sophie Moloney said: “This renewed deal reflects the long-standing partnership between Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery, and the continued commitment of both companies to bringing Kiwis premium content and brands. Sky’s focus is ensuring audiences have access to the content they love in ways that work best for them. With that in mind, we’re thrilled that this new deal also has optionality at its core, giving us the flexibility to continue entertaining audiences across multiple platforms in the years ahead.”

Warner Bros. Discovery President and Managing Director, Western Pacific, James Gibbons, said: “This agreement further deepens Warner Bros. Discovery’s historic partnership with Sky, which has seen great success and growth over the years. As we look to build scale across our diverse portfolio locally, we look forward to continuing to work with Sky as a key partner in bringing Kiwis our world-class storytelling, brands and franchises.”

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11 Responses to “Sky and WBD Maximise Partnership”

  1. It looks like Max is coming to New Zealand YIPPEE and Sky will continue as they are doing. The deal with Sky doesn’t stop Max from coming to New Zealand 😁

  2. Well that’s a major dagger for ThreeNow. Am sure there’ll be some interesting thoughts here around it, but that seemed like it was going to be an obvious major digital play for Three/WBD NZ to get those rights come under their umbrella. For them to miss out to an external company – a competitor even – and take income over generating their own revenue (if you catch my drift) perhaps signals that WBD think the NZ market is over-saturated with streaming services as it is and bulking up ThreeNow would not be worth the investment. Intrigued to hear what others think.

  3. Yes, I always thought ThreeNow would become Max but now not so sure. They obviously have done a deal to please everyone so Sky can continue and Warner Bros. Discovery can have Max as well. I wonder when Max will be coming to New Zealand 🤔

  4. Sorry Trev – I don’t see what the point of WBD launching Max here without the HBO catalogue and Max originals?

  5. Warner Bros actually has 100 years worth of TV shows and movies so there are plenty to go around 😁

  6. As we are are seeing WBD are selling the rights to films and TV to the highest bidder e.g. Justice League on TVNZ, I’d say they have no interest in a Max product in this market and I couldn’t blame them. With the ridiculous amount of streaming services available now (nothing like mature markets), I know a lot of people who are reverting back to the ‘alternative’ model … On a side note, AMC+ is probably also a flop, as I’m unaware of anyone who’s heard of it, let alone subscribing.

  7. I reckon Max will come to New Zealand in 2024 😁

  8. What I find interesting is, unlike the previous announcement a few years ago, the word is “exclusive” is no where to be found. I am also not sure what to make of this comment: “With that in mind, we’re thrilled that this new deal also has optionality at its core, giving us the flexibility to continue entertaining audiences across multiple platforms in the years ahead.” They already had Sky Go and Neon included? So does this mean other platforms e.g. Max?

  9. That would be the earliest, Trevor. I think 2025 more likely or even later given the extended relationship with Sky, WBD’s financial challenges and Max’s slow roll-out globally.

  10. All good points, Sam, some of which I raised with Sky on Friday but have still to receive a response.

  11. I was thinking this year so for me to say 2024 was a tough decision but still you could be right Philip. I do wonder what’s going to happen to Three and ThreeNow 🤔

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