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The era of streaming service is only just beginning. Following Disney+’s successful launch back in November, more studios are putting their platforms in the ring, which NBCUniversal’s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max both launching this year. And when it comes to one of the most popular franchises of all time, it’s not the one you’d think that’ll have the Harry Potter movies available to stream.
It turns out that HBO Max will not include the eight Harry Potter movies and two Fantastic Beasts spinoff films when the streaming service is launched in Spring 2020. According to WarnerMedia’s Executive Vice President of Content Acquisitions, Michael Quigley, a licensing deal made back in 2016 prevents the studio behind bringing J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World to life on the big screen to its upcoming platform.
It has been explained that all the Harry Potter movies are tied to NBCUniversal, per the Television Critics Association winter press tour (via Vanity Fair). Back in 2016, Warner Bros signed a deal with the network giving them exclusive broadcast and cable access to the fantasy series until April 2025. Oops!
The good news is that Harry Potter will be present on another streaming service. Fans can flock over to Universal’s Peacock for their Hogwarts fix, which comes in July! That is unless Warner Bros fends off the pre-existing deal like Disney did for the original Star Wars films with TBS and TNT.
Streaming used to belong to Netflix, but now the big studios are getting into the game. For instance, Disney+ has been very successful for the Mouse House. The streaming service best known for birthing Baby Yoda reportedly made $100 million in its first two months. But HBO Max thinks it can take on Disney+ and beat it at its own game.
HBO Max will have everything HBO subscribers already enjoy, including every season of Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Watchmen and so forth. The new service will also exclusively have the entire beloved Studio Ghibli collection and be the official home of DC favorites. The entirety of Friends will be on the service and exciting originals from Ridley Scott, Issa Rae and Mindy Kaling are on the way. 31 original movies in 2020 and 50 in 2021 are in the works as well.
While not necessarily as impressive as HBO Max's lineup, NBCUniversal has a decent amount in store for Peacock. Besides the Harry Potter franchise, the competing streaming service will have old favorites like The Office and Parks and Recreation; new revivals for Saved By the Bell, Battlestar Galactica and Punky Brewster; a new comedy from Tina Fey called Girls5Eva; and an interview series from Kevin Hart called Hart to Heart.
Then again, many of us will probably end up subscribing to both streaming services for a free trial and forget to cancel…