Warner Bros. Discovery And Sky Renew Content Deal In NZ
In July 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that the content distribution relationship with Sky would be extended for the New Zealand market, ensuring that they remain the continued destination for a large proportion of content, including Discovery, HBO, and Warner Bros. content.
This means that all of the most popular shows and movies will continue to be broadcast to New Zealand audiences, including critically acclaimed hits like House Of The Dragon, The Last Of Us, Big Little Lies, and highly anticipated shows arriving in the future, such as True Detective: Night Country, Sex And The City, and The Last Of Us 2.
The Introduction Of A New Streaming Service
While the news is positive for New Zealand media right now, it could also spell good news for the future, as it provides flexibility for a future launch of Warner Bros. Discovery’s very own streaming service. The launch of Max happened back in May 2023, bringing together HBO Max’s programming alongside Discovery +’s content, as well as hundreds of Warner Bros.-owned movies and series, including Harry Potter and the DC Universe.
The service is yet to reach the New Zealand market, however, which has led some to wonder when or even if Max will be introduced at all. The continued partnership has reignited the conversation, and it indicates that Warner Bros. Discovery is still considering its options and evaluating how to make a successful New Zealand launch.
Streaming And Gaming For New Zealand Residents
It’s likely that if Max were to launch, it wouldn’t only tap into the streaming market. Netflix has become one of the first online streaming platforms to move into the gaming landscape, with 63 mobile games already available, 40 more slated for 2023 and more than 70 in development.
With Netflix existing at the top of the streaming pyramid, it won’t be long until its competitors jump on board and develop their own games to rival what Netflix offers. In New Zealand, more than 66% play digital games in the mobile format, with the iGaming market having grown by 47% in 2022 alone – making it worth a total of $407 million. As time goes by, more players like Max are going to get involved in the market, subsequently helping it to grow even further.
The Success Of Warner Bros. Discovery’s Content Deal
This renewal of the agreement between Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery, then, ensures the availability of a wide range of content for New Zealand residents. It also indicates the success that WBD have seen in recent years and their dedication to further grow and build upon the audience that they have. Shares for WBD, for instance, gained 32.3% over the last year, and it ended Q1 of 2023 with 97.6 million direct-to-consumer subscribers – an increase of 1.5 million over the previous quarter.
When it comes to Sky, the renewal is a bit of a lifeline. Just recently, the launch of the new set-top device Sky Box was nowhere near as successful as initially hoped, and the layoffs of more than 170 staff members has spurred questions on management and the loose grip that Sky seems to have in the region. With shares for Sky TV falling in New Zealand last year, this new deal is set to push their stock in a positive direction at least for the next three years – the estimated length of the Warner Bros. Discovery deal.
Whatever happens in the future, however, New Zealand residents will be glad for the continued accessibility to a wide variety of television and movies to watch from home. As of 2023, the content that Warner Bros Discovery and Sky deliver is some of the most popular in the world, and New Zealand has the opportunity to keep enjoying it for a few more years yet.