News from early October 2022, including "Yellowstone" moving to Paramount+ in Canada, and answers to questions about the Roku Channel and more.
The dark comedy television series Made for Love, starring Cristin Milioti and Ray Romano, and based on the novel of the same name written by Alissa Nutting, was released in the United States by HBO Max beginning on Wednesday, April 1, 2021.
However, HBO Max is not available via authorized means in Canada, and HBO Max's main Canadian partner Crave does not have rights to the series here either.
Instead, in Canada, the full first season of Made for Love is now available on Amazon Prime Video as of the evening of Thursday, April 15, 2021, just ahead of the April 16 date Amazon has given in programming notices sent to multiple media outlets, including here at WCIW. Prime Video is part of Amazon's Prime subscription program, which costs $7.99 per month or $79.00 per year (plus applicable taxes), with a 30-day free trial available to first-time subscribers in most parts of Canada.
[Update (May 6, 2022): The second season of Made for Love will be available on Prime Video in Canada starting on May 20, 2022, according to a listing of upcoming programming we received from the service. As with the first season, Prime is waiting for the full season to be released in the U.S. – where it is receiving a weekly release from April 28 to May 19 – but will then make it available all at once in Canada.]
Why isn't "Made for Love" available on Crave?
In the absence of HBO Max in Canada, much of that service's programming has instead aired in Canada on Bell Media's Crave streaming service through output deals with HBO parent company WarnerMedia. So it would be reasonable to assume that Made for Love, which is being promoted in the U.S. as a "Max Original", could have been covered by these agreements.
In fact, Made for Love is an exception. That's because, although the series was commissioned (ordered) by HBO Max, the producing studio is Paramount Television Studios, owned by ViacomCBS. A sister division, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, handles international distribution rights outside of the regions where HBO Max operates directly. This meant that ViacomCBS could sell the Canadian rights to any other service it wanted – which ended up being Prime Video.
Although Bell Media / Crave has deals for programming from other ViacomCBS divisions like Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, most of the new Star Trek series, and streaming rights to a few library series like Frasier, it seems that rights for most new Paramount Television programming is sold separately.
Prime Video Canada, meanwhile, also has a good relationship with ViacomCBS, having carried other recent programs distributed by Paramount or sister company CBS Studios, including The Great (originally commissioned by Hulu) and The Stand (produced for CBS All Access / Paramount+), not to mention recent Paramount movies like 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog movie, all of which are currently available at no extra charge for Prime subscribers.
That's all on top of a number of other Paramount-produced titles that Prime Video holds worldwide streaming rights to, including Jack Ryan and Coming 2 America.
Why did Canadians have to wait two extra weeks to see "Made for Love"?
In the United States, HBO Max rolled out the eight-episode series out over several weeks, releasing the first three episodes on April 1, the next three on April 8, and the last two on April 15.
Prime Video apparently decided to wait until the entire series has been released in the U.S., then dropping it all at once in Canada, in line with how it typically releases series. The Friday release is also consistent with when Prime releases most of its programming. (As in this case, in some cases new Prime Video programs have been released a bit early, i.e. Thursday evening in North America instead of an announced Friday release – and it's doubtful that they would have been able to release the program on, say, Wednesday evening, before HBO Max had released the final episodes.)
Header photo by John P. Johnson/Paramount Television/HBO Max; furnished by Prime Video Canada