AT&T Chief: HBO Max Will ‘Ultimately’ Offer Live News, Sports

Variety | 7/24/2019 | Cynthia Littleton
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AT&T chief Randall Stephenson told investors Wednesday that the HBO Max streaming service set to launch next spring will eventually include live sports and news programming.

Stephenson talked up his enthusiasm for WarnerMedia’s nascent direct-to-consumer platform during the telco giant’s second-quarter earnings conference call with Wall Street analysts.

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“You should assume that ultimately HBO Max will have live elements: Unique live sports and premium sports,” Stephenson said. “Those are going to be really, really important elements for HBO Max. The same with news.”

Stephenson cited WarnerMedia’s existing relationships with Major League Baseball, the NBA and NCAA men’s basketball tournament but it was unclear if he was indicating that HBO Max would seek to acquire streaming rights from those leagues. “There’s a lot of opportunity to take advantage of the unique content deals that we have within WarnerMedia,” he said.

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Also Wednesday, AT&T set Oct. 29 as the date for an investor presentation that will offer details about HBO Max launch plans. The presentation will be held on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. Stephenson said WarnerMedia would offer more “visibility” at the presentation into HBO’s growth trajectory with subscriber growth via the standalone HBO Now service and from the new breed of digital MVPDs.

HBO saw linear subscriber losses in the second quarter — a surprise given that the period encompassed the final season airing of “Game of Thrones” and an indication that HBO’s nine-month (and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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