April 21, 2020 / 4:32 PM / 2 months ago

AT&T will make HBO Max free to some customers, sets May 27 launch

FILE PHOTO: HBO logo is on display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(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

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