AT&T To Shut Down WatchTV, Push HBO Max As Replacement

AT&T, which stopped making its low-cost streaming service WatchTV available to new subscribers back in July, has now informed existing subscribers that it will go away as of Nov. 30. 

Instead, these customers -- now paying $15 per month for WatchTV -- are being told they can instead sign up for HBO Max "at no additional charge" if they sign up for it.

The HBO Max ad-free version costs the same ($14.99 per month). The with-ads version costs $9.99 per month. 

In addition, existing WatchTV subscribers will lose their Spotify subscription tie-ins, unless they opt to continue service directly through Spotify. 

AT&T launched WatchTV in June 2018, just prior to its Time Warner acquisition. Priced at just $15 per month, WatchTV includes 35 live TV channels, including CNN, TNT, TBS, AMC Networks and A&E. 



For a time, AT&T offered the service free to users of its Unlimited & More and Premium wireless plans, but switched to offering those customers the service at the usual $15 standalone price as of late 2019, in anticipation of HBO Max’s May 2020 launch.

AT&T, which has been divesting video-oriented businesses to focus on and help bankroll its 5G wireless business expansion, in August spun off DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse to create a separate joint venture video company with TPG Capital. 

DirecTV Stream became the umbrella brand for all video streaming services previously owned by AT&T, with the exception of HBO Max, which is part of the WarnerMedia Discovery merger expected to be finalized in 2022.

AT&T also sold the Crunchyroll subscription anime service to Sony last December for $1.18 billion.


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