I Want My HBO (House of the Dragon)

This newsletter from the Russian streaming service Amediateka showed up in my inbox a few minutes ago.

Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon. Premieres August 22

See “House of the Dragon” on Amediateka. We don’t want you to miss the biggest and most interesting premieres (“House of the Dragon,” the prequel to the great and mighty “Game of Thrones” is coming soon!), so we’re reminding you that we have a very useful newsletter. From which, however, you can unsubscribe. What you can definitely keep are the subscription promo codes*: a treasury of international TV series is now closer!

What is Amediateka? What does it have to do with HBO?

Russian streamer Amediateka has struck an exclusive deal that allows it to offer all series from WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, in addition to library content from the US studio.

The agreement, which is effective immediately, hands Amediateka shows including the reboot of cult TV series Gossip Girl, Steven Soderbergh’s film No Sudden Move, sci-fi series Raised By Wolves, Israeli war drama Valley Of Tears and teenage drama Genera+ion. 

HBO Max hit The Flight Attendant is also available, along with Sex And The City sequel And Just Like That…, with shows accessible on the streamer in Russia and the CIS.

Animal Kingdom11.22.63 and Person Of Interest are among library series available, along with documentaries including 15 Minutes Of ShamePersona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests and docuseries Generation Hustle and the upcoming One Perfect Shot.

Tatyana Kalita, CEO of Amediateka parent Amedia TV, said the deal would provide “resonant and highly sought-after” shows to its audiences, adding that the streamer had enjoyed “stunning success” with the recent special episode Friends: The Reunion, which Amediateka exclusively released in Russia and CIS in May.

(Source: Richard Middleton, “Amediateka gets HBO Max shows exclusively in Russia and CIS,” Digital TV Europe, 3 August 2021)

But didn’t HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia stop doing business in Russia this spring to protest Russia’s brutal unprovoked invasion of Ukraine?

Major media companies continue to join the exodus from Russia, with Discovery and WarnerMedia making announcements on Wednesday about halting all programming in the country.

WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, previously paused the release of “The Batman” in Russia, citing the “humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”

As of Wednesday the company is now “pausing all new business in Russia,” CEO Jason Kilar said in an internal memo. “This includes ceasing broadcast of our channels, halting all new content licensing with Russian entities, and pausing our planned theatrical and games releases.”

WarnerMedia had been broadcasting CNN and Cartoon Network in the country. CNN said on Tuesday that the network is not shutting down its Moscow bureau, “but we have ceased reporting from there until we have assessed the impact of this new law.” The law makes it a crime to disseminate what Russian authorities consider to be “fake” information about the invasion of Ukraine.

Discovery, which has 15 channels in the country, said Wednesday that the channels are going dark as well. “Discovery has decided to suspend the broadcast of all its channels and services in Russia,” the company said.

Discovery and WarnerMedia are preparing to merge this spring.

The statements are part of a much broader corporate shunning of Russia that has escalated in the two weeks since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

(Source: Brian Stelter, “WarnerMedia and Discovery join the stampede of businesses leaving Russia,” CNN Business, 9 March 2022)

Amediateka is currently offering a 12-month subscription to its streaming service at the bargain basement price of 2,499 rubles — or 41 dollars and some change. That’s for an entire year. In the US, WarnerMedia is currently offering a yearly, prepaid subscription to HBO Max for $69.99 with ads or $104.99 with no ads. ||| TRR

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