Netflix snags ‘Game of Thrones’ creators away from HBO in mega-deal



The Emmy Award-winning creators of “Game of Thrones” have landed at Netflix Inc. in a deal reportedly worth $200 million to $300 million to create and develop series and movies exclusively for the streaming giant.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose Netflix NFLX, +3.82%  after being courted by a handful of studios including Walt Disney Co. DIS, +2.25%, Comcast Corp. CMCSA, +2.23%, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +2.20%, Apple Inc. AAPL, +2.21%, and HBO T, +1.41%,  where they worked for nearly a decade. The duo, among the most in-demand showrunners in Hollywood, have already signed to do a Star Wars trilogy of movies for Disney.

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Netflix’s winning bid underscores its status as the leading streaming service despite a recent dip in net subscription additions and upcoming competition from Disney, Apple, Comcast, and AT&T Inc.’s T, +1.41%  HBO Max. Last year, Netflix snagged “Glee” and “American Horror” creator Ryan Murphy for $300 million. His first program, “The Politician,” is scheduled to premiere in September.

“We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “They are a creative force and have delighted audiences worldwide with their epic storytelling. We can’t wait to see what their imaginations will bring to our members.”

Amazon, a reported finalist in the bidding for Benioff and Weiss, is readying a big-budget “Lord of the Rings” series in 2021, and inked an exclusive deal with the creators of HBO’s “Westworld.”

Read more: Disney sets high bar with new $12.99 streaming bundle for Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu

Disney upped the ante earlier this week, with the announcement of a streaming bundle combining Disney content with ESPN+ and Hulu, beginning Nov. 12. The $12.99-per-month package is part of the launch of its new Disney+ service.

Netflix shares have gained 16% in 2019, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.88%  has gained 17% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.43%  has added 13%.

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