HBO, like everyone and their grandmother, has a new streaming service coming out in May 2020, HBO Max. You would think that HBO, a subsidiary of Warner Media, would have access to the full Warner Brothers library at launch, but they are running into the same conundrum that other streaming services like Disney + are running into, previous deals for digital streaming of their properties.
One property in particular Warner Media would love to see at launch is their Harry Potter series of films (to include Fantastic Beasts), but no can do as NBC Universal has their mitts on Harry along with all his friends through 2025. The suits at Warner Media are not thrilled at all with this current deal, and I can imagine why. As reported by Vanity Fair at a recent Television Critics Association press event, Michael Quigley (executive vice president of content acquisitions at TNT, TBS, TruTV, HBO, and *gasp* HBO Max) is quoted as saying “Harry Potter is tied up with another programming group.”.
Being tied up is putting things lightly considering the length of time Warner Media will not have one of their hottest commodities to stream for FIVE FREAKIN’ YEARS years due to the previous deal struck by the Warner Bros.’ worldwide television distribution president, Jeffrey R. Schlesinger. Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time, although they did not have the foresight to predict that streaming would be the way to go as millions cut the cord on traditional cable tv.
While it does make complete sense that Warner Media would have the wizarding world of Harry Potter back in their digital portfolio, we do have to admit that NBC Universal has treated the franchise well and expanded on it further than Warner could with the addition of the immersive theme park experiences at Universal Studios parks on the east and west costs of the USA.
In the end, will the extra $15.00 a month be worth it for HBO Max if they are missing out on Harry and his friends? If you are a huge fan, probably not, but it is only a matter of time before you will see those familiar faces streaming on their “home” turf.
Till then, wave your wand and repeat after me “Accio Harry Potter blu-ray collection!”.
Are you jazzed about HBO Max, or do you plan on waiting this one out? Let us know in the comments below.