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HBO Max raising price, adding live sports

The logo of HBO Max appears on a television screen.
The logo of HBO Max appears on a television screen. (Graphic by The Desk)

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) says it will add a slate of live sports programming to its general entertainment streaming service HBO Max next week, a move that will also come with a slight price increase.

On Thursday, the company confirmed it was raising the price of HBO Max’s commercial-free tier by $1, with customers paying $16 a month for the full catalog of HBO Max programming and licensed shows and movies without advertisements.

A cheaper, ad-free version of HBO Max will remain at $10 a month for now, though the price could rise in the future.

It is the first time HBO’s subscribers have encountered a price increase since the brand started offering its content to streamers without a cable or satellite package. When HBO Now launched in 2015, the service cost $15 a month — a price that cable and satellite companies matched for traditional HBO subscriptions. HBO Now relaunched as HBO Max in 2020.

While commercial-free HBO Max subscriber will be paying a little more, they’ll also soon get a taste of the service’s first live sports offering. On Tuesday, January 17, HBO Max will broadcast a soccer match between the U.S. Women’s National Team and New Zealand, with studio coverage starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional matches will follow in the coming months.

The matches are part of a $200 million deal between WBD and the U.S. Soccer Federation that will see HBO Max and sister cable networks TNT and TBS broadcast more than 20 events from the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Team every year over the course of eight years.

The first U.S. Men’s National Team match on HBO Max will take place Wednesday, January 25 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, when the group takes on Serbia.

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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).