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Warner Bros. Entertainment, RTL Deutschland Set Extensive Content Deal

Batman
Warner Bros.

RTL Deutschland has inked an exclusive multi-year content deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment, adding films and series — including HBO Max originals — to streaming service RTL Plus.

Warner Bros.’ extensive output, which includes IP such as Batman, Harry Potter and Wonder Woman, is intended to complement RTL Plus’s growing number of German originals.

As part of the deal — which is effective from March 2022 — RTL Deutschland will also receive exclusive free-TV rights to the Warner Bros. library of films and series.

Warner Bros. series that will be available on RTL Plus include “Sex and the City: And Just Like That,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “North and South.”

RTL says the deal “contributes significantly” to achieving its streaming targets for RTL Plus in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands. By 2026, the company aims to grow its annual content spend to around €600 million ($682 million), increase the number of paying subscribers to 10 million, and boost streaming revenue to €1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Crucially, the deal also shows a commitment on the part of WarnerMedia to continue its output deals in Europe, despite the planned launch of HBO Max in a tranche of European markets this year.

Noticeably, markets such as Germany and the U.K. have been missing from the HBO Max roll-out strategy, largely due to existing deals in place with pay-TV operators and broadcasters such as Sky and RTL Group, which lean on WarnerMedia programs for their own channels and services.

WarnerMedia has set a 190-country target for HBO Max by 2026.