AT&T, fresh off its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner this summer, plans to launch a new streaming service late next year anchored by HBO that will bundle in movies and shows from its other properties, like Turner’s TBS or the Warner Bros. film studio.
It’s the latest in a mind-numbing cascade of subscription video services, be they niche efforts or titanic new ventures from Hollywood giants. With deep-pocketed tech companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple pouring money into producing original programming, companies like AT&T are ramping up TV offerings, while traditional Hollywood giants are gearing up to bring their own battle online. AT&T’s HBO bundle will launch the same year as Disney’s long-planned Netflix competitor, unofficially referred to as Disneyflix.
John Stankey — an AT&T executive in charge of WarnerMedia, as the company renamed Time Warner — didn’t seem fazed by the competitive landscape. ‘My job isn’t to build another Netflix,’ he said, speaking Wednesday at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles.
He didn’t detail how much the service would cost, but he said it would cost more than the $15-a-month rate for HBO Now, its existing stand-alone subscription for all of HBO’s programming.
‘We’re not going to put pricing out there until we get on the market,’ Stankey said.
AT&T plans to launch the new service in the last three months of 2019. While it’ll be centered around HBO and incorporate programming from WarnerMedia’s other brands, it won’t include live news like CNN. WarnerMedia is home to Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and other networks. It also owns the Warner Bros. film studio, which has been on a hot streak lately with hits like Crazy Rich Asians, The Nun and A Star Is Born.