WarnerMedia, a company owned by AT&T, has reached an agreement to acquire the minority interest in HBO Ole Partners so far held by Ole Communications in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries and thus will become the sole owner of HBO joint venture. In this way, WarnerMedia will gain control over HBO premium channels network and Cinemax (a basic Pay TV channel), as well as over OTT and TV Everywhere HBO Go services in the above mentioned markets.

“The acquisition will allow us to bring localized versions of our upcoming U.S. streaming service HBO Max (Editor´s Note: scheduled to be launched in early 2020) to consumers in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean,” said WarnerMedia International Networks President, Gerhard Zeiler. This will make it possible for the company to enjoy complete freedom when designing a launching strategy for HBO Max in the region, such as the possibility of displaying exclusive content of its new OTT platform in the United States through its premium channels in Latin America in order to show the quality of the service’s original products.

“We have the option to acquire the business in Brazil but are not doing so at this time. As we have said, additional, direct investment in Brazil is not currently attractive to us because of the existing regulatory uncertainty in the country,” explained Zeiler. In Brazil, the law precludes a company from owning a content production concern and a channel distribution concern at the same time. Given that in such country AT&T is the owner of Sky, a DTH operator, and WarnerMedia is the owner of Turner channels and holds an interest in HBO, becoming the sole owner of HBO would increase the already existing risk.

The transaction will be completed once regulatory authorities have approved it. After its completion, Ole Communications will continue sharing business in Latin America with WarnerMedia in HBO Brasil Partners and the distribution of subscription TV channels, such as Warner Channel and channels belonging to A+E Networks Latin America, NBCUniversal International Networks Spanish Latin America and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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