As if HBO Max didn’t have enough content to tout, the newly available streaming services managed to summon the rights to all eight Harry Potter films at the last possible moment, per TVLine. The deal was finalized just before the platform’s launch and the films are currently available in WarnerMedia’s vast library. Accio quarantine marathons!
You’d think that this particular acquisition would be a relatively easy one, considering that the franchise is a beloved Warner Bros. tentpole. However, NBCUniversal actually secured the on-air and digital rights in a stacked deal back in 2016. As part of a move that was considered one of the biggest deals in the industry, the ownership was meant to last from 2018 to 2025 and also included the spinoff Fantastic Beasts movies starring Eddie Redmayne. So in order to accomplish this Herculean feat, WarnerMedia had to essentially purchase its creation back—a transaction that potentially rivaled the price tags of Friends or Big Bang Theory. Only days ago, HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly told Business Insider that there was “no timetable” for the successful acquisition of JK Rowling’s creation, but that it was “high on [their] priority list.”
This is only the most recent prize in a number of major deals that WarnerMedia has managed to cut in recent months. Last week, the service announced that it would be streaming the long sought-after “Snyder Cut” of Justice League.