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SkyShowtime, the European streaming joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global, has struck a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for exclusive rights across all of Europe to 21 HBO Max European originals.
The agreement covers 168 episodes, or more than 150 hours, of local original scripted programming, including three series previously not available anywhere that will get their world premiere as SkyShowtime originals in 2023. SkyShowtime said this will “significantly” accelerate its entry into original programming.
The deal, financial terms of which weren’t disclosed, also bolsters the joint venture service’s local content offering across all of its territories.
The shows, including recently premiered Beartown (Sweden), Beforeigners (Norway), Kamikaze (Denmark), Lust (Sweden) and The Informant (Hungary), were part of programming that Warner Bros. Discovery decided to remove from HBO Max last year and for which the company took writedowns. Sources at the time said the moves were taken for financial and strategic reasons rather than due to a lack of quality of these shows. They also signaled back then that the programming could find a new home down the line, which it has now done on SkyShowtime.
The three new series that have completed production and will have their world premieres on SkyShowtime this year are ID (Finland and Sweden), The Winner (Czechia and Slovakia), as well as Warszawianka (Poland). Additionally, SkyShowtime will premiere the second season of Por H o Por B (Spain), while also making its first season available on the service. Premiere dates will be announced at a later date.
Five other series recently premiered on HBO Max, but will now have their exclusive home on SkyShowtime. The streamer said it would have the option to acquire worldwide rights on any renewed shows as well as the option to order new seasons for several shows.
“As well as the nine new and current shows, multiple seasons of 12 successful series from HBO Max will be available exclusively on SkyShowtime beginning in March,” the streamer said.
These titles include: Czech It Out! (Czech Republic), Foodie Love (Spain), Hackerville (Romania), No Activity (Spain), One True Singer (Romania), Pray, Obey, Kill (Sweden), Ruxx (Romania), Success (Croatia), Todo Lo Otro (Spain), The Sleepers (Czechia), Tuff Money (Romania) and Welcome to Utmark (Norway).
All of the acquired shows will be available to SkyShowtime subscribers across all of its 22 markets.
“This is a landmark deal for SkyShowtime, giving us an immediate foothold in the original programming space well ahead of plan,” said SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan. “As a streaming service created specifically for Europe, SkyShowtime is committed to consumers in our markets. Local programming is an important part of our strategy, and we are pleased to be the home for these new series, as well as popular shows that resonated with audiences across the Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe and Spain.”
SkyShowtime received regulatory approval in February 2022 and has launched in 12 of its 22 markets. It will debut in the remaining markets, namely Albania, Andorra, Czechia, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, during the first quarter.
Said Jon Farrar, head of programming at SkyShowtime: “Local original programming has always been a key part of our content proposition. We are thrilled to announce this first step in our original programming strategy. We are uniquely dedicated to our markets and look forward to working with local writers and producers to bring even more authentic stories to our subscribers.”
In addition to local programming, SkyShowtime features exclusive films, new and exclusive scripted series, kids and family content and a selection of iconic library titles and box sets from Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount+, Showtime, Sky Studios and Peacock.
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Robert De Niro