All of Charter's existing HBO subscribers, including subscribers to its Spectrum Silver and Gold video packages, will be given access to ad-free HBO Max -- otherwise priced at $14.99 per month -- at no additional charge. Those customers need only sign into the HBO Max app to get the service.
All other existing and new Charter customers will be able to purchase HBO Max directly through Charter.
Charter will offer HBO Max "on a multitude of platforms for purchase by our video, broadband and mobile customers alike," stated Charter executive vice president, programming acquisition, Tom Montemagno.
“Charter has been a longtime distributor of our networks and on-demand content, and a valued partner to our company,” added Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution.
Charter, the nation's second-largest cable operator, has more than 29 million residential and business customers for internet, TV, mobile and voice customers, across 41 states, under its Spectrum brand.
As with Disney+ and other major streaming service launches, distribution tie-in deals will be critical to WarnerMedia reaching its stated HBO Max goal of 70 million to 90 million subscribers, including 50 million in North America, by 2025.
WarnerMedia parent AT&T had previously announced that ad-free HBO Max will be free to AT&T TV, DirecTV and U-verse customers who subscribe to HBO, and to AT&T mobile and broadband services subscribers. HBO Now subscribers will also be upgraded to HBO Max for free, if billed directly through HBO.
In addition, YouTube TV customers will have the option of paying to add HBO Max (or HBO or Cinemax) as part of that platform's recently announced comprehensive distribution deal with WarnerMedia.
WarnerMedia's efforts to woo existing pay-TV partners for HBO Max distribution deals reportedly have included offering added user data from HBO Max’s ad-supported version -- set to launch in 2021 -- in addition to monthly residuals.