Australian pay-TV Foxtel Group has held on to its top HBO programming hits, “House of the Dragon,” “The Last of Us,” “Succession” and “The White Lotus” with the Wednesday announcement of a renewed content supply deal. Foxtel will remain the Australian home of HBO, Max Originals, Warner Bros. and Discovery content.
The pact between Foxtel and Warner Bros. Discovery is touted as “a multi-year, multi-faceted content and platform agreement” that reflects the evolution of Foxtel from legacy pay-TV operator into a streaming player. It also allows further wiggle room as circumstances continue to change.
Foxtel now claims an aggregate 4.4 million pay-TV and streaming subscribers in Australia, across Foxtel and its newer OTT services Kayo and Binge.
Powered by the HBO content, Binge now has 1.44 million subscribers (up 48% year on year) and broke its own audience record with episodes 1 to 4 of “The Last of Us,” which attracted a cumulative audience of 1.1 million per episode.
“The beauty of this deal is that it provides optionality for both companies,” Foxtel Group chief content and commercial officer, Amanda Laing told Variety. “No matter what options Warner Discovery wish to pursue in Australia our relationship will evolve with them.”
That’s an important caveat, given that WBD has rethought its planned international rollout of HBO Max and is still toying with its own streaming platform options.
Similarly, Foxtel aims to launch an ambitious new streaming aggregator product by the end of 2023. “We are excited that the [WBD] content will extend to our new streaming aggregation product in the future,” said Laing. “This innovative new deal speaks to our commitment to grow together. The future is now even brighter for both our companies as a result of this deal.”
The WBD deal covers returning seasons of HBO original series (“Euphoria,” “True Detective”), Max original series (“And Just Like That…,” “Peacemaker”), upcoming HBO original series premieres (“The Idol,” “The Palace”) and Max original premiers (“The Penguin” and J.J Abram’s “Duster”). The Warner Bros. film and DC Universe library is available, as well as upcoming movie releases “Dune 2” and “Barbie.”
The range of channels across Foxtel Group platforms include Discovery, Discovery Turbo, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, CNN International, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.