WarnerMedia has reached an agreement to buy Ole Communications’ minority stake in HBO Ole Partners, giving it full control of all HBO, MAX, Cinemax and HBO Go services in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean.
The ownership structure of HBO Brasil Partners, another joint venture between the companies that operates HBO in Brazil, is unaffected at this time. WarnerMedia and Ole Communications will continue their basic channel distribution business in Latin America.
Upon closing, HBO Ole Partners will fall under the purview of Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and president of WarnerMedia International Networks.
“We’re excited to own all of HBO Ole Partners, which operates one of the leading premium, subscription-based television networks in the region,” said Zeiler. “The acquisition will allow us to bring localized versions of our upcoming U.S. streaming service HBO Max to consumers in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean. 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. 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.”
“WarnerMedia has been a great partner in Latin America and we are proud to have built the HBO-branded networks in the region together,” said Enrique Cusco, president and CEO of Ole Communications. “We are pleased that we will continue the business of distributing our great portfolio of basic channels in the market, a portfolio that includes Warner Channel and the channels of A+E Networks Latin America, NBCUniversal International Networks Spanish Latin America and Sony Pictures Entertainment.”
WarnerMedia and Ole Communications brought HBO programming services to the LatAm region for the first time when they founded the HBO Ole Partners joint venture in 1991. A Spanish-language HBO-branded premium channel was launched that same year. The Portuguese-language service was launched in Brazil in 1994.