American telecom company AT&T, the parent organization of WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, will transition linear and streaming broadcasts from its AT&T Audience Network to become an HBO Max preview channel in the spring.
The Audience Network launched as FreeView in 1999 with a focus on music and concerts. It has rebranded twice since then, first as The 101 Network in 2005, then as the Audience Network in 2010, when it expanded into scripted original series.
“We will begin to transition Audience Network from its current approach to support AT&T’s broader original content and marketing focus on the upcoming HBO Max service,” said Daniel York, chief content officer at AT&T Consumer, in a statement.
“I am proud and grateful to the team at Audience for their many successes over the years, creating unique, fresh and provocative content along with our great studio partners. Twenty years ago we were the first pay-TV provider to differentiate our content offering with the best exclusive original content, and the team truly brought to life the network vision: Always Original, Never Ordinary.”
HBO Max is set for a May launch, with a price tag of US$14.99 per month.
While it will initially only be offered on a subscription basis, WarnerMedia plans to expand the service to include an ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) option within its first year.
Existing AT&T-HBO customers and HBO Now direct-billed subscribers will get HBO Max at no additional cost. Additionally, customers who subscribe to AT&T’s premium video, mobile and broadband packages will be offered bundles at launch with HBO Max, with details still to be determined.
The HBO Max non-fiction programming team includes exec VP of original non-fiction and kids Jennifer O’Connell, with Lizzie Fox serving as SVP of non-fiction programming, Brett Boydstun as SVP of non-fiction production, and Rebecca Quinn as VP of non-fiction original programming.