WarnerMedia confirms its Netflix rival will be called HBO Max.
WarnerMedia today unveiled its much-talked-about direct-to-consumer streaming service, named HBO Max, set to launch in the spring of 2020 with some 10,000 hours of content, including all episodes of ’90s hit “Friends.”
Under a new deal with Warner Bros. Television, HBO Max will have exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of “Friends” — which will roll off Netflix in 2020.
“We’re sorry to see ‘Friends’ go to Warner’s steaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US),” Netflix tweeted after WarnerMedia’s announcement. “Thanks for the memories, gang.”
New platform, new content
HBO Max will include all episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” starring Will Smith and “Pretty Little Liars.” It also will be the exclusive streaming home new Warner Bros.-produced dramas for The CW starting with the fall 2019 season, including the DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (a spinoff of “Riverdale”). CW shows going forward will be available on HBO Max beginning 30 days prior to the TV premiere of the next seasons of those shows.
Overall, HBO Max will combine content from HBO with a slate of originals and programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes.
There are also some exclusive deals with producers Greg Berlanti (director of Love, Simon and producer of Arrow and The Flash), Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Anna Kendrick, among others.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020 with over 10,000 hours of premium content. Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and formerly CEO of Hulu, as the general manager.