By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, United States (Reuters) – HBO Max streaming service needs the reach of parent AT&T to compete in Internet video wars, a senior executive at WarnerMedia said.
HBO Max, set to launch next year, will combine the cable's prestigious lineup, which includes titles such as "Game of Thrones," with Warner Bros. movies, TV series such as "Friends," and original programming. The goal is to compete with companies like Netflix, Walt Disney and Apple.
WarnerMedia is a company formerly known as Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, Warner Bros. TV and movie studios and other entertainment companies. AT&T bought Time Warner last year.
WarnerMedia will be able to market HBO Max to tens of millions of AT&T wireless service customers, such as DirectTV and television services, and introduce them to programming, said Robert Greenblatt, president of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, on Tuesday.
"In this new world we live in, I think unless you can reach scale and unless you can reach millions and millions of people, I don't think you really have a chance," Greenblatt said.
"We need a company of this size and scale and this huge customer base," said Greenblatt. "The whole thing is just a big advantage for us."
Greenblatt said AT&T will offer "incentives to customers who will take them to HBO Max." He said the details will be announced later.
AT&T has claimed to have over 170 million direct customer relationships through TV, telephone and broadband services. It also operates 5,500 retail stores.
(By Lisa Richwine)