October 27, 2019
Ahead of its HBO Max unveiling on Oct. 29, WarnerMedia has reached an agreement to buy Ole Communications’ minority stake in HBO Ole Partners, the joint venture between WarnerMedia and Ole Communications.
When the transaction closes, WarnerMedia will own 100% of all HBO, Cinemax and HBO Go services in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean.
The agreement does not include HBO Brasil Partners, another joint venture between the companies that operates HBO in Brazil. WarnerMedia and Ole Communications will continue their basic channel distribution business in Latin America.
The transaction is expected to be completed following the granting of relevant regulatory approvals. Upon completion, HBO Ole Partners will fall under the purview of Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer, WarnerMedia, and president, WarnerMedia International Networks.
“The [HBO Ole Partners] acquisition will allow us to bring localized versions of our upcoming U.S. streaming service to consumers in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean,” Zeiler said in a statement.
Th executive said WarnerMedia chose not to include Brazil operations in the deal due to “existing regulatory uncertainty” in the country.
“We support and remain optimistic about the ongoing efforts to amend the SeAC law to ensure the media industry has a clear and predictable regulatory framework that fosters investment and innovation,” Zeiler said.
WarnerMedia and Ole Communications brought HBO programming services to the region for the first time when they founded the HBO Ole Partners joint venture in 1991 and launched a Spanish-language HBO-branded premium channel that same year. In 1994, a Portuguese-language service was launched in Brazil.