HBO Max launched Wednesday with the entire collection of “Harry Potter” movies, defying expectations that the service would launch without the films.
What’s the news:
- HBO Max — a new streaming service from Warner Bros. — launched on Wednesday morning.
- Users found the “Harry Potter” films within the app. The films were not expected to be included in HBO Max because the rights to the films were held by NBCUniversal through 2025.
- “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is not on the app. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is included, though.
What’s being said:
- AdWeek editor Jason Lynch: “Much like Disney Plus negotiated at the 11th hour to get a much bigger portion of its Marvel library on the service, HBO Max managed to get the entire ‘Harry Potter’ series on its platform for launch.”
- Analyst Matthew Ball: “Wow. Looks like HBO Max did an 11th hour deal to reclaim (i.e. bought back) the full slate of Harry Potter movies that parent Warner Bros licensed to competitor NBCUniversal in 2018 through 2025. Big, costly, and important move.”
- HBO Max Content Chief Kevin Reilly told Business Insider that the app was negotiating to get the “Harry Potter” films but there was no timetable for that to happen.
- He said: “I’ll just say there is active engagement around that discussion. In terms of the marketplace, there’s a lot of opportunities for horse trading. The marketplace is shifting, with the impact of COVID and different companies launching different services, and it creates a lot of opportunities for horse trading. We’re seeing that across the board.”