By Helen Coster
(Reuters) – AT&T Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will make its HBO Max streaming service free to some customers when it launches on May 27.
The HBO Max app will be pre-loaded on the AT&T TV set top box. HBO Max will also be included with the AT&T Internet 1000 plan – the fastest residential internet the company provides – at no additional charge, and in AT&T-owned DirecTV’s biggest package, DirecTV Premier, among other forms of distribution.
AT&T Communications Chief Executive Jeff McElfresh declined to comment on how many AT&T subscribers the company expects will have access to HBO Max at no additional cost.
AT&T earlier told Reuters HBO Max will be available to 10 million AT&T customers who are also HBO subscribers in the United States at no extra charge.
HBO Max will enter a crowded streaming landscape dominated by Netflix Inc, Walt Disney co-owned Disney+, and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video. It will include 10,000 hours of content from AT&T-owned WarnerMedia brands and libraries such as Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and Cartoon Network.
The service will cost $15 per month for non-AT&T customers. McElfresh said regardless of economic conditions related to the coronavirus outbreak, consumers should expect promotional offers for HBO Max.
(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Additional reporting by Arriana McLymore in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Bill Berkrot)