EXCLUSIVE: HBO Max & Wonder Woman Tipped To Be Coming To OZ Directly, Foxtel Still In Discussions
HBO Max is looking to set up an Australian streaming service by the end of the year with shows like the new “Wonder Woman 1984.” set to be available for the local market, the alternative is to cut a deal with Foxtel who already have millions of subscribers.
The move to set up a local operation in direct competition with Disney, would be a blow to local streaming services including Foxtel, Stan, and Binge if it happens.
AT&T the US owners of HBO Max has set a goal of hitting 50 million U.S. subscribers by 2025 and Australia is one of the markets the Company is targeting according to insiders.
The News Corp owned Foxtel currently streams HBO content, and a loss of this stream could be a major blow. Mid last year Stan was battling to get access to HBO content but were beaten by Foxtel who are believed to still be in talks to hold onto the HBO content.
Owners AT&T are looking to achieve between 75 million and 90 million subscribers globally by that year.
Competing directly with Disney HBO Max management has already said that they plan to expand outside the U.S. and offer a lower-cost version with advertising later this year.
Recently the business saw a boost in subscribers after reaching a key distribution deal with Roku who carried the premiere of “Wonder Woman 1984.”
About 17.2 million people had activated their HBO Max accounts at the end of the fourth quarter, AT&T said overnight.
That’s up from 8.6 million at the end of the third quarter and 4.1 million after its first month.
In early December, AT&T Chief Executive Officer John Stankey said that about 12.6 million subscribers had activated their HBO Max accounts.
The deal with Roku has allowed HBO Max to potentially reach millions of new subscribers. In Australia Foxtel is also in a position where they can deliver close to 3 million subscribers across multiple platforms including Binge and Foxtel, the News Corp owned network is set to launch a new iQ5 service later this year.
The move to selling direct in Australia follows the release of superhero sequel “Wonder Woman 1984” that premiered in the USA on Christmas Day on HBO Max on the same day as it was being released theatres.
The unusual decision to start a movie off on a streaming service and in cinemas at once has sparked an uproar in Hollywood with many tipping it will be the death of Cinema’s in Australia as TV manufacturers cut the cost of large screen TV’s up to 100″ inches.
AT&T’s WarnerMedia which is currently available on the Foxtel network, plans to premiere several more films from its Warner Bros. studio on HBO Max this year because many theatres remain shut down during the pandemic.
That could help HBO Max as it tries to accelerate its subscriber growth in a crowded streaming market.