Bell Canada is now the sole operator of HBO programming in Canada following a multi-year partnership with the U.S. pay-TV service.
The Canadian media company’s new deal with HBO includes all platforms, both linear and OTT, as well as SVOD rights for first-run programming. That’s a big win for Bell Media’s streaming service, CraveTV, allowing it to offer high-demand, in-season programming like Game of Thrones (pictured), Girls and Veep in a competitive subscription on-demand space.
Earlier this year, Bell announced CraveTV would become available to all Canadians with an internet subscription in January, 2016. Crave already features the entire off-air library of HBO’s programming catalog after the media co acquired the national platform rights to the content in 2014.
The announcement, made Nov. 19, also included the reveal of a new original production development program. To be operated by Bell Media and HBO, “the two companies will co-develop original, Canadian drama, comedy, and factual productions for their platforms and for distribution around the world.”
The company said projects from Rhombus Media, Inverted Pictures/Artists Studio and Force Four Entertainment are already underway. And complementary to its Comedy Network and Much Digital Studios brands, the new program will also include consideration of Canadian comedians for HBO Comedy specials.
with files from Katie Bailey, Playback