US entertainment giant HBO has officially secured a local trademark for a streaming service in a clear sign the entertainment giant behind Game of Thrones and The Wire is considering setting up a standalone business in Australia.
HBO’s formal registration of a trademark in Australia this month comes as its current broadcast partner, Foxtel, and Nine Entertainment Co’s streaming service, Stan, prepare to battle for rights to its popular shows such as The Sopranos, Succession and Big Little Lies.
HBO’s owner, US telecoms giant AT&T, last week revealed it had taken a $1 billion revenue hit as it withheld key shows in its portfolio from streaming services such Netflix and Hulu as it prepares to launch its own direct-to-consumer service, HBO Max, in May. Part of that launch includes commissioning original series.
Foxtel currently has the exclusive rights to air HBO content in Australia, a deal with two years left to run. However, Stan is interested in making a play for HBO’s content according to sources familiar with the business strategy who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Stan is owned by Nine, which is also the owner of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.