AT&T CFO Says HBO Max Bundle Will Be Available to AT&T Wireless Users After Discovery Merger
During today’s Morgan Stanley’s European Technology Media & Telecom Conference, AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches made the announcement that AT&T wireless users can still expect HBO Max to be bundled with their wireless offerings after the WarnerMedia-Discovery mega-deal closes during the first half of 2022.
He said, “I would expect that we will reach a commercial agreement to continue bundling HBO Max.” Desroches didn’t offer up any additional details about the topic but he added, “We feel really good about the progress of HBO Max,” and mentioned the rollout of the service in Europe and the positive momentum in Latin America. Desroches also wanted to emphasize that AT&T has announced over $55 billion worth of asset deals this year.
In May, when AT&T CEO John Stankey revealed the Discovery merger, he also hinted at the bundling agreement saying: “I think we have leaned into the prospect of always using different services to provide value to the customer. And whether we owned HBO Max or not, we’d probably be continuing to look at that.”
In today’s conference, Desroches reiterated that the company continues to expect the deal to close during the first half of the year saying there have been “no surprises” and they are exactly where they expected to be at this stage.
During the third-quarter earnings conference call, Stankey said “The general progress on the deal, I think, is consistent with what we would have expected as we walked into it…We are moving through the steps with the various regulatory agencies, both domestically in the U.S. and outside the U.S. Those processes are moving along at the pace we would have expected.”
Asked about the impact of day-and-date movies which will likely be far less common next year, the CFO said: “This is something that we know how to do.” And he added that fans would remain “enthusiastic” next year. “We feel really good about the ability to keep the momentum going.”
AT&T expects the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery to bring in upwards of $3 billion in synergies. This agreement will create an even larger library as it combines movies from Warner Bros. and linear TV networks such as CNN, TBS, TNT, Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, and Animal Planet.
HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.
HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for US$9.99 and ad-free plan for US$14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.
They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”