An off-network spree is happening in the midst of the streaming wars and HBO Max is getting ahead.
Long-running comedy series are definitely cashing in as big media streaming platforms bid to acquire these. Recently, NBCUniversal shelled out USD500 million to earn distribution rights for The Office and HBO Max paid USD425 million for Friends. Both shows pulled away from streaming giant Netflix. In addition to that, Disney+ now owns streaming rights to The Simpsons.
Now, HBO Max isn’t letting others get ahead of the race. WarnerMedia-owned streaming service is cashing out on acquiring long-running shows in preparation for its spring 2020 release.
The recent acquisitions of The Office and Friends could soon be overshadowed by HBO Max’s upcoming streaming deals with two Chuck Lorre sitcom hits, Two and a Half Men and the recently concluded The Big Bang Theory. Industry experts are expecting that the streaming pact for The Big Bang Theory might surpass the USD1 billion mark. HBO Max is reportedly currently in talks to strike a USD1.5 million deal for both The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men as a package.
According to Deadline, WarnerMedia is making the move as it eyes to acquire streaming rights to Warner Bros. TV’s longest-running comedy series for the past two decades including Friends.
WarnerMedia is also reportedly taking interest in the series, Seinfeld, as Sony Pictures Television puts it up for sale. Looking to fill the gap that The Office and Friends left, Netflix is also expressing an interest in acquiring the show.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.