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More than 10 million will automatically get HBO Max in April, AT&T executive says

(Image: WarnerMedia/AT&T/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

More than 10 million HBO subscribers who view premium programming through an AT&T service will automatically receive the company’s new streaming service HBO Max when it debuts in May, according to a company executive.

In a note to shareholders published on Tuesday, AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stankey reaffirmed the company is still on track for a May launch of the much-anticipated streaming service that will combine various assets from AT&T’s WarnerMedia subsidiary.

Those properties include original programming from HBO and sister-network Cinemax, for which the combined HBO Max is named; licensed movies and TV shows from both HBO and Cinemax; movies and TV shows from Warner Bros., including Friends and the Big Bang Theory; and programming from various AT&T-owned cable networks, including TBS, TNT, CNN and the Cartoon Network.

The service will also contain a handful of TV shows licensed from competitors, including the animated sitcom South Park and the British import Doctor Who.

Last October, executives confirmed customers who received HBO through an AT&T service would have access to HBO Max included as part of their subscription. That includes customers of AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV U-Verse, AT&T TV and satellite service DirecTV.

AT&T said customers of its streaming-only HBO service, HBO Now, would also receive access to HBO Max. HBO Now currently costs $15 a month — the same price AT&T has set for HBO Max — and some believe AT&T will dissolve HBO Now and roll customers over to HBO Max when it launches in May.

Stankey said AT&T currently has around 10 million customers receiving HBO programming through a company-owned service.

For now, customers who access HBO programming through a non-AT&T owned service or who pay for HBO Max through a third party like Apple’s iTunes store or the Google Play Store won’t have immediate access to HBO Max when it launches in May, though company executives said they’re exploring ways to make the new service available to those customers in the future.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).