AT&T to take on ragtag Netflix with upscale 'HBO and more' streaming video service

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Soon, AT&T customers will be able to stream hit HBO shows directly to their mobile devices as part of a new video service. No, we aren't talking about HBO Now, or AT&T taking on Netflix, Hulu and the like, but rather providing another avenue for its prized HBO possession to unfurl its viewership potential.

The new streamer will be "HBO and more," said John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T's WarnerMedia that has the rights to some of the best TV series ever created. AT&T is gearing up to start the new services towards the tail end of 2019, and will include content from the significant media assets that AT&T amassed in the last few years.

It could potentially skip middlemen like Netflix for new original programming but also for reruns, segmenting the streaming video market even more. AT&T's CW Network, for instance, which provides popular shows like "Riverdale," "Arrow" and "The Flash" to Netflix, may at some point switch to the carrier's own service after the deal with Netflix expires. After all, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is on record with the following Netflix dis:


Needless to say, it's HBO programming that most people will be after, that is why AT&T plans to make it the pinnacle of its future video streamer. After all, the move to 5G may replace cable broadband for many subscribers. 

It could also usher in a new wave of demand for carrier services, and AT&T wants to be ready with rich entertainment offers as well, rather than simply serve as the proverbial dumb pipe for cellular data. Mum's the word on pricing and subscriber restrictions of AT&T's upcoming video-on-demand streamer just yet, but Apple is also gearing up to launch one next year, and the field is getting busy.

source: WSJ (paywall)

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