# LICENSING HBO ORIGINAL SERIES TO NETFLIX: A GAME-CHANGING MOVE BY WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY?
**After enduring a year of cancellations and layoffs, HBO is making a surprising business decision. According to an article published in Deadline yesterday, Warner Bros. Discovery, under the leadership of CEO David Zaslav, is in talks with Netflix to license HBO Original Series. This unexpected move has reportedly raised concerns among HBO’s old guard, but it is seen as a necessary step to boost the company’s financial performance. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the deal, and it remains to be seen whether it will come to fruition.**
One of the highly popular shows that could be included in this agreement is Issa Rae’s “Insecure,” which aired on HBO for five seasons before concluding in December 2021. This deal would not be exclusive, as Warner Bros. Discovery would still have the option to showcase the series on its own platform, Max.
While it would not be unprecedented for a TV show or film to be available on multiple streaming networks, this potential agreement holds significance for Warner Bros. Discovery. Earlier this year, the company made headlines when it sold a package of canceled shows, including “Westworld” and unaired episodes of “The Nevers,” to free ad-supported television (FAST) networks such as Roku and Tubi. This, however, marks the first major streaming deal for Warner Bros. Discovery since then.
In the past, it was not uncommon for the owner of a streaming service to sell content to competitors. Warner Bros., for instance, licensed some of its biggest shows, including “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” to Amazon Prime Video back in 2014. However, as streaming services began creating exclusive content libraries in recent years, such cross-licensing deals became less frequent.
Last year, Warner Bros. Discovery emphasized its willingness to explore new business opportunities, prioritizing its bottom line over purely principled considerations. Gunnar Wiedenfels, CFO of Warner Bros. Discovery, stated at a Bank of America event that the company had a wealth of content that had been idle for too long due to these principles.
This potential licensing deal comes on the heels of Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent rebranding and relaunch of HBO Max as simply Max. The relaunch introduced a new pricing tier for 4K video and faced some hasty rollout issues, including a credits mishap that forced the company to apologize. The lumping together of writers, directors, and other contributors under a single “creators” header led to discontent among striking WGA writers.
While there may be reasons to criticize David Zaslav’s “open for business” approach, the opportunity to enjoy high-quality shows like those HBO is renowned for on multiple platforms is a rarity in the streaming landscape. This move is far more rewarding than seeing a movie shelved for tax reasons after significant time and effort has been invested in its production.
Overall, HBO’s potential licensing agreement with Netflix signals a potentially game-changing move for Warner Bros. Discovery. If the deal does materialize, it will undoubtedly have wide-ranging implications for the streaming industry and how content is distributed across multiple platforms.
*Source: “Warner Bros. Discovery in Talks to License HBO Original Series to Netflix” on Deadline.com*