AT&T names streaming service HBO Max, makes it exclusive home for "Friends"

Brenda Watkins
July 10, 2019

It also said the sitcom "Friends" - now a popular show on Netflix - will be going to the new service, which is slated to debut next spring. Eventually, it could be getting more expensive to keep Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, and some other streaming providers than just a standard cable subscription.

Thanks to a handful of content deals, HBO Max will have exclusive streaming rights to popular shows like Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, as well as numerous series included in DC Entertainment's TV universe like Batwoman.

WarnerMedia's TV studio owns the rights to "Friends" and has been licensing the show to Netflix for years.

The platform will also include four new young adult films from producer Greg Berlanti. For example, Friends is leaving Netflix and will appear on HBO Max when it debuts in the spring of 2020.

The DOJ had argued that AT&T could harm rival online video services by withholding Time Warner shows and movies or by raising the prices online services have to pay to stream that content. Jessie Henderson, meanwhile, is EVP of original feature films for the direct-to-consumer streaming platform.

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Also, subscribers will have to choose whether they now want to spend the reported $15-18 a month on HBO Max. When it launches, this service will offer the entire series of Friends, which is now available on Netflix, marking yet another major show the latter service is losing. There will also be original content exclusive to HBO Max, including series and movies.

How much will it cost?

Shows that air on The CW during the 2019-2020 season are expected to air on the streaming service in fall 2020, a representative Warner Bros. told Decider.

"HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform", WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer Chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement.

HBO Max's programming strategy is being led by Casey Bloys, HBO's programming president, and Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, overseeing its development of its originals and acquisitions, and president of WarnerMedia's entertainment networks. HBO Max will launch publicly in the spring of 2020 and will include 10,000 hours of content, the company said.

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