The agreement, which was finalised on Sunday, means that HBO will continue to screen Universal movies and films produced by Universal’s specialty films unit, Focus Features, without fear that content could fall into the hands of internet subscription services, such as Netflix.
As competition between online streaming giants rapidly grows, pay-TV provider HBO has made sure the decade long agreement gives them total exclusivity over Universal films – keeping it on the premium cable service’s TV, mobile, and online services until 2022.
The financial details of the deal itself have not been disclosed, but it has been suggested that HBO will have invested about $2 billion over the lifetime of the agreement.
“With our upcoming slate of films, HBO will continue to offer outstanding film content to their already vast library of movies, specials and award-winning original programming,” said vice chairman and COO of Universal Pictures, Rick Finkelstein.
This deal follows hot on the heels of Netflix’s recent and also exclusive agreement with The Walt Disney Co. to start steaming its movies in 2016.
New releases are shown via pay-TV within six to nine months after films first hit movie theatres, so news of HBO’s continued arrangement means the network’s viewers will get exclusive viewings of movies such as Les Misérables and This is 40.
HBO, which also offers HBO GO and MAX GO online channels and apps, Cinemax and HBO On Demand, also has exclusive agreements with 20th Century Fox, part of News Corp., and Warner Brothers, part of Time Warner.
“With HBO’s far-reaching network of premium services, ranging from the traditional in-home experience to its mobile applications, we are pleased to continue this relationship and bring Universal and Focus Features’ films to HBO subscribers for many years to come,” Finkelstein added.
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