Back when AT&T announced that it planned to launch a Netflix/Hulu like streaming service using WarnerMedia properties they said it would launch in late 2019. Now AT&T has confirmed that the service is coming out in the Spring of 2020.
Introducing the next big thing: HBO Max, our upcoming streaming service featuring exclusive originals and the best-of-the-best from the WarnerMedia portfolio. Learn more: https://t.co/MHHIkV0ohz pic.twitter.com/N9jb9FifIW
— WarnerMedia (@WarnerMediaGrp) July 9, 2019
AT&T’s CEO had previously said that they planned to announce this new WarnerMedia streaming service later this fall. It had been reported that AT&T would follow that announcement with a 4th quarter 2019 release of the service. Now it looks like that date has been pushed back raising doubt about AT&T’s plans to officially announce the service in the fall.
It has been reported that HBO MAX will cost $16 to $17 a month and will include HBO, Cinemax, and on-demand WarnerMedia content. From the news we are learning this new WarnerMedia service sounds like an expanded version of HBO making the name HBO MAX a fitting one. With this move AT&T is also not renewing Netflix rights to Friends in the United States as it will be moving to the new HBO MAX service.
The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye.
We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US). Thanks for the memories, gang ☕
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 9, 2019
From the sounds of it, AT&T plans to use HBO’s 140 million subscribers to grow the service. It has been reported that AT&T plans to include HBO and Cinemax in the new service. To make the deal worth a few more dollars, AT&T will reportedly include a huge amount of WarnerMedia content and original programs. Much like how ESPN is not targeting cord cutters with ESPN+ but going after hardcore sports fans who stream or pay for cable TV.
Back in June AT&T’s CEO of Communications announced that DIRECTV NOW would likely be merged into WarnerMedia’s new streaming service. From the sounds of it, AT&T wants to follow Hulu’s example of an on-demand only service at a cheap starter price and live TV available as an add-on. Details are still thin on this and AT&T did say it would eventually happen meaning that when HBO MAX launches DIRECTV NOW may not merge in on day one but at a later date. Though this delay could be to help prepare the service to launch with DIRECTV NOW as an add-on from day one.
For now, we will have to wait and see what AT&T announces for this new HBO MAX service.
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