HBO Max, the HBO-centered $15-a-month streaming service launching in May, will be free for Charter cable customers who already pay for traditional HBO in their pay-TV packages, Charter and AT&T's WarnerMedia said Wednesday, in a first for the forthcoming service.
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As a service, HBO Max essentially includes everything on HBO plus extra movies, originals and popular old shows like Friends. But if you already pay for HBO on a cable subscription, you don't necessarily get to unlock the extras on HBO Max without taking out a whole new subscription. That changed for Charter customers Wednesday with the new deal.
Previously, the only people set to get HBO Max complimentary were those subscribed to one of HBO-parent AT&T's own services, such as DirecTV, U-verse, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV and AT&T wireless users who can add HBO with certain unlimited plans.
All of Charter's existing HBO subscribers, including subscribers in its Spectrum Silver and Gold video packages, will automatically be given access to HBO Max for no additional charge. Qualifying Charter customers will only need to sign into the HBO Max app.
HBO Max is set to be one of the last major entrants in the so-called streaming wars, a half-year window when media and tech giants are releasing a flood of new streaming services to take on Netflix. HBO Max was betting it could grab your interest by amping up HBO's existing streaming service with a sprawling catalog of hit shows and movies and a big-budget slate of exclusive originals packed with big-name stars. HBO Max was set to cost $15 a month when it rolls out in the US sometime in May.