WarnerMedia names upcoming direct-to-consumer service HBO Max

MUMBAI: US and global media conglomerate WarnerMedia has named its new streaming service HBO Max. It is scheduled to launch commercially in the first half of 2020 and is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content.

It will offer a direct-to-consumer experience for everyone ranging from families with young children to adults of all ages. Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s storytelling, the new service will be ‘Maximised’ 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.

New deals with Warner Bros. Television and others for HBO Max announced include:

  • The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of the sitcom ‘Friends’. The show aired for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004. The show revolved around six friends and made stars out of its ensemble — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.
  • The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’
  • The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the new DC Entertainment series ‘Batwoman’ and ‘Katy Keene’ (a spinoff of ‘Riverdale’)
  • New exclusive movie production deals with Hollywood producer Greg Berlanti and Oscar-winning actress and producer Reese Witherspoon. Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused on the young adult space, while Witherspoon will produce at least two films

“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends’.

“Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it,” said WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer chairman Robert Greenblatt.

HBO programming president Casey Bloys continues to oversee content on the HBO service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased 50% over normal spending.

Warner Media Entertainment Networks president Kevin Reilly that includes TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as HBO Max chief content officer overseeing all new Max Originals and library content.

Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and former Hulu CEO as the GM.


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