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WBD considers licensing HBO shows to Netflix

If a deal comes together, it would be the first time HBO titles are offered on a subscription streaming service since 2014.

If a deal comes together, it would be the first time HBO titles are offered on a subscription streaming service since 2014.

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) is in talks with Netflix to license some of its older HBO content to the streaming service, according to a report.

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter said the discussions are an attempt by WBD to raise cash. The discussions may ultimately not lead to a deal; if it does, it will likely be on a non-exclusive basis, allowing WBD’s own streaming service, Max, to continue carrying the programs.

The deal would include the Issa Rae comedy “Insecure,” which ended its five-season run in December 2021. Other shows are also being considered, the Hollywood Reporter said, though the publication didn’t elaborate.

If an agreement came together, it would be the first time in about a decade that HBO content is offered on a third-party streaming service. In 2014, Warner Bros struck a deal with Amazon to offer some HBO titles like “The Sopranos” and “Veep” to Prime Video users. The deal pre-dated Warner Bros’ merger with AT&T, and well before the company was acquired by Discovery.

WBD is looking to cut expenses and tap additional sources of revenue as it looks to reduce nearly $50 billion in debt. The company has laid off hundreds of workers and restructured its internal operations in an effort to save money, and recently started licensing some of its older TV shows and movies — including a handful of HBO titles — to Hulu, Fox Corporation’s Tubi and the Roku Channel.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).