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AT&T chief promises live sport and news for HBO Max

HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s new subscription video-on-demand service to be launched next spring, will ultimately include live content including premium sports and news, according to AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson.

Speaking on AT&T’s latest quarterly earnings call, Stephenson said that “unique live premium sports” including NBA, Major Leaghe Baseballand NCAA Basketball would be “really important elements for HBO Max” in the future.

Stephenson said that NFL Sunday Ticket America football, which is currently distributed exclusively on the DirecTV satellite service was “hard to utilise” fully as a satellite-only product. He said that “hopefully, over time, we can address that and move it onto our other platforms”

Stephenson said that live news would “do quite well as an element of HBO Max”.

Randall Stephenson

Stephenson said that HBO Max would be a key part of the group’s wireless strategy, “pairing in a unique way premium video content with our wireless, TV and broadband business”, particularly as AT&T rolls out 5G.

Stephenson said that HBO had enjoyed a strong quarter, particularly in digital subscriptions, and that the DirecTV base would be key to driving uptake of HBO Max next year.

“HBO is firing on all cylinders. Warner Bros is doing terrifically. All of this is coming together to give us great confidence that HBO Max is going to be something special in the marketplace,” said Stephenson.

AT&T Time Warner will reveal more details on the launch and content line-up at its WarnerMedia Day on October 29.

WarnerMedia contributed US$8.35 billion of AT&T’s US$44.96 billion in revenues for the quarter. HBO’s top line was US$1.72 billion, While Warner Bros contributed US$3.39 billion. Warnermedia EBITDA was US$2.06 billion.