The first shots in the streaming wars have fired a few years ago, but now there are more armies with greater weaponry. Back when it was just Netflix, with underdogs Amazon and Hulu, it felt a bit more manageable. Not now, when Disney, NBC Universal, and WarnerMedia have all announced their own proprietary streaming services. It’s a battle of will, and money. WarnerMedia’s offering, HBO Max, just made a strategic play, striking a deal with BBC America for many series including all 11 seasons of Doctor Who, plus season 12 and beyond after they air on the cable network.
For the past several years, Doctor Who‘s updated series has exclusively lived on Amazon Prime. Prior to that, it was on all sorts of platforms. Prime is where new episodes showed up, but fans will no doubt have noticed series 11, Jodie Whittaker’s first as the Doctor, has yet to debut to Prime customers. This is no doubt due to this new deal. HBO Max will be the only place to stream Doctor Who series 1-11 once it launches in spring 2020. Which means you’ll have to wait another six-eight months to stream series 11; it will make its subscription video on demand debut with HBO Max.
In addition, HBO Max also secured over 700 episodes of BBC and BBC America programming, including the original British version of The Office, Top Gear, Luther, and more. Add BBC to the library of shows and movies from Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Hello Sunshine, Looney Tunes and more. The word “robust” comes to mind. And that doesn’t even include all of the new and library HBO content that will no longer be on Amazon Prime once Max launches. Hatchi and indeed matchi.
Doctor Who fans should note, this deal does not seem to include any of the classic series. That seems to indicate BritBox, the streaming service from BBC and ITV, will still be the exclusive home of Who from 1963 to 1989.
NBC Universal has the U.S. Office, Disney+ has all the Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar stuff, and HBO Max has Friends, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and all the DC movies. So…what’s Netflix gonna do? We might start seeing some big casualties in the near future.
War is hell, even if it’s streaming video-based.
Images: BBC America, WarnerMedia
Kyle Anderson is the Editor at Large for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!