TV’s streaming wars are expanding to non-traditional fronts.
WarnerMedia and YouTube TV have struck a distribution deal that will expand the Google-owned video hub’s carriage rights to include HBO and Cinemax for the first time as well as a commitment that WarnerMedia’s new HBO Max streaming service will be made available on YouTube TV upon its launch in spring.
The deal also means WarnerMedia’s more traditional cable networks – TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, HLN, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network – will continue to be available on the service, which has offered them since 2018.
“As consumers’ media consumption habits continually evolve and the landscape becomes more and more dynamic, our goal remains constant, and that is to make the portfolio of WarnerMedia networks available as widely as possible,” said Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution, in a prepared statement. “YouTube has been a valued partner for a number of years, and we’re pleased to not only extend our existing agreement, but also make HBO and Cinemax – and soon HBO Max – available to YouTube TV customers for the first time.”
The pact spotlights the need of traditional media players to harness the reach of new-tech services to gain scale for their various TV offerings. In an era when more consumers are choosing to watch their favorite entertainment programs via broadband-delivered video, selling programming through cable and satellite offerings often isn’t enough.
“Our commitment at YouTube TV is to deliver TV to our members how and when they want it,” said Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV, in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with WarnerMedia to deliver their family of networks that are popular among our members, as well as introduce HBO, Cinemax and HBO Max to our growing line-up of premium content.”
YouTube TV gives subscribers the ability to watch programming from more than 70 networks and offers live and local sports as well. Members have the ability to record shows via cloud-based storage.