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The Battle for More than Middle Earth

A battle is due to commence, one to capture the attention of us all

19 Aug 2022

In a couple of weeks, a battle is due to commence, one to capture the attention of us all. This long-anticipated battle has cost two heavyweights heaps of cash. No, I am not talking about AJ v. Usyk, this is Amazon v. HBO.

Amazon Prime and Sky will soon release two eagerly anticipated TV series, ‘The Rings of Power’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ is it any coincidence that they are being released within weeks of each other? I doubt it.

The similarities don’t stop there, both series are prequels of highly successful fantasy productions. Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ is a prequel to ‘Lord of the Rings’, and HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ is a prequel to ‘Game of Thrones’.  So, this is not a speculative investment, Amazon and HBO are banking on the proven success of what they know works.

Reportedly Amazon spent $58 million per episode in season one of ‘The Rings of Power’. HBO’s spend is expected to be under $20 million per episode for ‘House of the Dragon’.  I love saying, ‘money doesn’t equal success in the media industry’, but this scale of spend shows the ambition of these streamers.

You can almost feel the anticipation, there’s a lot resting on each production. Over the last couple of years, we have seen several battles for our screentime; this feels different. With Netflix struggling to maintain their market share, it’s evident that the number one spot is up for grabs, and they all fancy their chances.

The huge spend can be justified by Amazon and HBO, these series can not only attract subscribers, but keep them hooked. With the UK on the verge of an unprecedented cost of living crisis, and people looking to cut back, some make think twice about cancelling their subscriptions when these series are about to be released.

As prequels to already successful productions a loyal fan base already exists, the hype is out there, and no one will want to be that person in the conversation who hasn’t watched the shows. All of this is recipe for a success.

I’m not ashamed to say I’m excited about watching these series and to see who will win the battle for our hearts and eyes.

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