Bell Media, Canada's leading broadcaster, and HBO, the world's most successful pay TV service, announced today an unprecedented agreement in which Bell Media will become the exclusive Canadian home of all HBO programming on all subscription platforms into the next decade.
Under the comprehensive, long-term agreement, the first of its kind for HBO in Canada, Bell Media will have the ability to deliver current-season, past-season, and library HBO programming exclusively on its linear, on-demand, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms in English and French. The agreement also marks the first time HBO has granted exclusive subscription video on demand (SVOD) rights for first-run programming throughout Canada. As a result, Bell Media will have the flexibility to provide current HBO content such as GAME OF THRONES, GIRLS, and VEEP over-the-top in Canada on its platforms. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BCE announced today that Bell Media will expand The Movie Network into a national pay TV service and become the sole operator of HBO Canada. As a result, all HBO content will be delivered nationwide by one company for the first time ever in Canada. French-language HBO programming will continue to be seen on Bell Media's Super Écran pay service.
Bell Media and HBO also announced today a new original production development program, with the goal of co-producing premium, made-in-Canada content for the world stage.
"Bell Media and HBO enjoy a partnership of shared respect and admiration," said Charles Schreger, President, Programming Sales, HBO. "Together, we secured a deal that will allow both our businesses to continue to grow and evolve."
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring all HBO programming to Canadians on whatever platform they choose," said Mary Ann Turcke, President, Bell Media. "With this agreement, HBO's incredible premium content will power subscriptions to Bell Media brands for many years to come."
"This is an extensive deal that could only exist with a trusted partner like Bell Media," said Glenn Whitehead, Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, HBO. "The Canadian audience will have access to HBO programming in more ways than ever before."
"We are privileged to strengthen our relationship with one of the world's great television brands," said Tracey Pearce, Senior Vice-President, Specialty and Pay, Bell Media. "HBO has been our extraordinary partner for many years, and we look forward to taking that partnership to a whole new level."
Bell Media and HBO will further bolster their new partnership with a landmark programming and production arrangement. The two companies will co-develop original, Canadian drama, comedy, and factual productions for their platforms and for distribution around the world. Several projects have already been selected for development from production companies Inverted Pictures/Artists Studio, Rhombus Media and Force Four Entertainment. Additionally, new HBO Comedy specials featuring established and emerging Canadian comedians will also be considered.
"The level of talent in Canada is extraordinary and we are excited about the opportunity to tap into this creative community," said Michael Lombardo, President of Programming, HBO. "In Bell Media, we have a great partner with a history of strong relationships and together I believe we will be positioned to further elevate our programming."
"Our enhanced partnership with HBO will open doors for Canadian creators to one of the world's most-respected innovators in the development of original content," said Randy Lennox, President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media. "We can't wait to get to work on developing the next great TV series for Canada and the world."
Earlier this year, Bell Media announced its premium TV streaming service CraveTV would become available to all Canadians with an Internet subscription in January, 2016. In September, 2014, Bell Media announced it had exclusively acquired the national multi-platform rights for the entire off-air library of HBO's iconic programming catalogue, which is now featured on CraveTV.
About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's #1 television network; 34 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 13,500 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with premium subscription on-demand streaming service CraveTV, as well as its innovative GO video streaming services including CTV GO, Discovery GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub; is partners in Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.
About Home Box Office
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world's most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOWSM, the network's internet only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO's acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.