HBO Not Renewing Catalog License Deal With Amazon Prime Video3 May, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
HBO is not planning to renew its groundbreaking catalog content licensing agreement with Amazon Prime Video when the deal expires next year.
Amazon three years ago inked a deal with HBO to stream the premium channel’s catalog titles, including “The Wire,” “Big Love,” “True Blood,” “Deadwood,” “Six Feet Under” and “The Sopranos,” among others. It was HBO's first third-party streaming pact and done before the launch of its proprietary SVOD service, HBO Now.
The license agreement did not include current shows such as “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective,” “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” “Westworld,” “The Night Of” and “Insecure,” among others.
The deal also pre-dated Amazon Channels, the platform showcasing third-party SVOD services — including HBO Now — to Prime members.
“As we see the progress and the sub-revenue acceleration in our digital business, I don't think you're going to see us extend or expand our relationship with our library of programming on Amazon. And we have no plans to do that beyond the end of the date, which is the end of next year,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler said on the company's May 3 fiscal call.
In April, Amazon backtracked an erroneous online post suggesting HBO catalog was leaving Prime Video by May 21.
Plepler said HBO has seen positive consumer reaction toward marketing HBO Now to Prime members through Amazon Channels.
“We have seen enormous momentum there. As we have by the way across all of our digital platforms, including DirecTV Now,” he said.
DirecTV corporate parent AT&T is in the process obtaining regulatory approval for its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.