WarnerMedia and YouTube TV today announced a distribution deal that will bring HBO and Cinemax to the Google-owned live TV streaming service for the first time as well as, notably, WarnerMedia’s new service HBO Max, set to launch this spring.
That means that YouTube TV customers will have the option to add-on either HBO or Cinemax to their current subscription, as they can today on other streaming services like Hulu. Alternately, they’ll be able to opt for HBO Max’s expanded streaming service instead.
The new agreement will also allow YouTube TV to continue to carry the WarnerMedia networks TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, HLN, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network, which have been available to YouTube TV 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 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.”
HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s previously announced direct-to-consumer streaming service, which includes the HBO library as well as films from Warner Bros., third-party licensed programs and 31 Max Originals. Combined with HBO series, HBO Max will stream 69 originals in its first year.
Among these is a “Gossip Girl” sequel, a Mindy Kaling comedy called “College Girls,” an adaptation of the popular novel “Circe,” a superhero series “DC Superhero High,” a “Dune” series, a “Grease” reboot, a reboot of “The Boondocks,” “The Green Lantern,” an Issa Rae comedy, a Ridley Scott sci-fi series, a new documentary on Anthony Bourdain, a documentary about Amy Schumer, a Melissa McCarthy comedy film, a documentary with Monica Lewinsky and other scripted and unscripted shows. It also has a new deal with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and an overall deal with Lisa Ling.
The company says the service will debut in May with 10,000 hours of film and TV, but will continue to grow over time. It is set to cost $14.99 per month.
With the additions of HBO, YouTube TV viewers can gain access to shows like “Watchmen,” “Big Little Lies,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “Succession,” “Westworld,” “The Outsider,” “Barry,” “Insecure,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” as well as classics like “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Sex and the City.” Upcoming HBO releases will include “High Maintenance,” “My Brilliant Friend,” “The Plot Against America,” “The Undoing” and “I Know This Much Is True.”
Meanwhile, Cinemax brings its own slate of originals, including “Strike Back,” “Trackers” and “Gangs of London,” as well as movies like “Boy Erased,” “First Man” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.”
While HBO and Cinemax are offered to cord-cutters as over-the-top subscriptions in a number of places, WarnerMedia’s distribution plans for HBO Max are only now starting to be revealed. It makes sense that WarnerMedia would look to grow its distribution partnerships in the wake of the increased streaming competition arriving this year, including NBCU’s Peacock and an expanded CBS All Access, announced today by ViacomCBS.