Less than a week before HBO Max’s launch, AT&T’s WarnerMedia has sealed deals with seven major new distribution partners for the streaming service.
At its launch on May 27, Altice USA, Cox Communications, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung, Sony PlayStation, Verizon and the National Cable Television Cooperative will now offer HBO Max. NCTC has 750 U.S. cable and broadband member companies.
WarnerMedia had already forged HBO Max distribution agreements with Apple TV+, Charter Communications, Hulu, and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube TV and Google.
The new SVOD will also be available on AT&T’s owned platforms — including DirecTV, U-verse, AT&T TV Now, which currently have about 10 million combined subscribers to HBO who will be upgraded to HBO Max at no additional charge.
Combined, the deals will go a long way toward helping WarnerMedia achieve its ambitious declared goal of reaching 75 to 90 million global subscribers for HBO Max by 2025.
Conspicuously absent thus far are Amazon, Comcast and Roku Inc.
Last week, at a JP Morgan conference, incoming WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey confirmed that HBO would be available “across a broad cross-section of distributors,” including “virtually all app stores”—but added: “It looks like we may not be in the Amazon Fire app store, when all is said and done.” Amazon, of course, is pushing hard to expand the user base of its own Amazon Prime Video streamer.
Existing HBO and HBO Now subscribers through the various partner companies will automatically have the option of upgrading to HBO Max at no additional charge, and those who are not already HBO customers will be able to subscribe to HBO Max directly through the partner platforms.