May 20, 2020
With the May 27 launch of HBO Max just a week away, distribution is key in terms of attracting subscribers and marketing hype. WarnerMedia, May 20 announced a slate of new distribution deals it says will make Max more widely available to customers at launch.
The new agreements include cable and broadband operators, gaming consoles and connected TVs — including Altice USA, Cox Communications, Microsoft, National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), Samsung, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Verizon. These companies join AT&T, Apple, Charter, Google, Hulu and YouTube TV. The company is reportedly in discussions with Roku as well, while distribution on Amazon Fire TV appears to be a no-go.
Max ($14.99) is launching with 10,000 hours of curated content and original series, catalog TV series and movies from Warner Bros. and third-parties.
“The launch of HBO Max is an important milestone for our company, and we’re excited that these valued partners will be on board for the launch,” Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution, said in a statement.
Altice USA will distribute Max to its Optimum and Suddenlink HBO and HBO Now cable. Max will be available to these subs in addition to their existing HBO linear and on-demand services and at no extra cost. Non HBO subs will be able to purchase Max directly from the company as part of a cable TV package, as an add-on to a video package, or as a standalone streaming service available to Internet-only customers.
Verizon is distributing Max through its Fios TV and Fios Internet services. All existing Fios customers who subscribe to HBO or HBO Now will get immediate free access to Max at launch, while non-subs can purchase separately.
Cox Communications will give all of Cox Contour’s HBO subs access to Max at launch, in addition to their existing HBO linear and on demand services. All remaining and new customers will be able to purchase Max directly from Cox.
Max will be made available at launch to independent cable and broadband operators — such as WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications & Wave, and MCTV, among others — through a new agreement with NCTC, on behalf of its 750 member companies throughout the U.S. and its territories.
Existing HBO customers of the participating NCTC member companies will be given free access to Max and new customers will be able to purchase the platform directly through their cable or broadband provider.
Max will also be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One gaming consoles, in addition to Max app access via the Microsoft Store and PlayStation.
Finally, Max will be available through select Samsung TVs, bolstering the platform’s U.S. distribution to include a television manufacturer at launch. Owners of Samsung smart TVs — models from 2016 through 2020 — will be able to download and purchase Max directly, offering another seamless viewing option for customers looking to access this best-in-class content experience.