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Home / Business / With HBO Max, AT&T launches a streaming service that & # 39; many people said could not be done & # 39;

With HBO Max, AT&T launches a streaming service that & # 39; many people said could not be done & # 39;



The launch of a new video streaming subscription was a keystone of AT & T's $ 85 billion deal for Time Warner, CNN's parent company.

After a long court battle, the agreement went into effect in June 2018, and management has been working on plans for HBO Max ever since.
The brand name is known, and so is the launch window in spring 2020, but the company has withheld details such as the monthly cost of the service.

That will change on Tuesday afternoon as AT&T gives a long-awaited presentation to key investors at the famed Warner Bros. studio party in Burbank, California.

The iconic Warner Bros. water tower has been rewritten with an HBO Max logo for the occasion.

"This is a big deal," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an interview from the studio party, where he released his third-quarter earnings on Monday.

Stephenson said that Tuesday's preview event is a culmination of more than a year's worth of WarnerMedia re-structuring and rethinking.

"You will see the result of what many people said could not be done when we made the Time Warner deal, and that is to break down the three silos in Time Warner," he said.

  The famous Warner Bros. tower has been updated for Tueday's big event.

The media company previously had three divisions – HBO, Warner Bros and Turner – with relatively little synergy between them.

Veteran AT&T executive John Stankey became WarnerMedia CEO when the deal came into effect and dismantled some of the walls that had been built up over the years. Depending on who you ask internally, the process has been painful or helpful, disruptive or necessary.

"By bringing these three companies together, we're creating something really powerful that couldn't have been done otherwise," Stephenson said. "The idea that you can set up a product, HBO Max, that requires in-depth integration of HBO, Warner Bros and Turner, not to mention Otter Media, which is also a big part of this – man, a lot of people said that could not be done. This is exciting. "

AT&T said Monday that it intends to spend about $ 2 billion on HBO Max over the next two years.

The company's stated goal is to register 50 million subscribers by 2025, five years after launching the service.

AT&T has more than 170 million customers across its wireless, telephone, broadband and TV businesses. These customers will see extensive promotions for HBO Max in the coming months.

HBO already offers a programming streaming subscription, known as HBO Now.

But HBO Max wants a much fuller library of TV shows and movies – more than 10,000 hours of programming.

It is a more direct challenge for people like Netflix, though industry experts emphasize that the so-called "streaming wars" is not a zero-sum game, as many households sign up for more such services.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu have a huge head start. On Friday, Apple introduces a subscription bundle of programs called Apple TV +. And in mid-November, Disney will enter Disney +.

  Big changes come to AT&T after shareholder fight

Tuesday's event will give WarnerMedia an opportunity to present its vision and plan. Dozens of deals for TV dramas, sitcoms, movies, documentaries and other programming have been announced in recent months. And plans for further programming will be unveiled on Tuesday.

"The maximum part of it is new original programming to expand it from children to adults," WarnerMedia Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said at a conference earlier this month.

Previous hits like "Friends" and "The West Wing" will also be available, in some cases because they are pulled by Netflix.


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