As streaming competitors Apple TV+ and Disney+ inch closer to their November launch dates, WarnerMedia announced Tuesday that its much-ballyhooed offering, HBOMax, will debut in May of 2020 at a price of $14.99 per month.
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The premiere date and price was unveiled at an investor event on the Warner Brothers studio lot in Burbank. The HBO Max Twitter feed was providing those not in attendance a virtual play-by-play of the announcements opening with this promise: "HBO Max is shaped by the vision and legacy of @HBO 's quality programming, which will serve as a foundational element of this platform."
HBO Max is new Warners/HBO owner AT&T's gambit that it could take on streaming giant Netflix. But the former telephone titan is not alone in that play. Apple launches its bid Nov. 1 and Disney follows suit on Nov. 12. In addition, Comcast's NBC Universal will enter Peacock into the marketplace in April.
Despite being the last entrant into the field, AT&T is counting on HBO's sterling brand reputation — its slogan once was "It's not TV, it's HBO" — and the slew of talent its has signed to bolster the new service. Some of the properties announced include:
- "Demimonde" from super producer and the man behind HBO's "Westworld," JJ Abrams. This pilot centers around a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force.
- "College Girls" from writer and producer Mindy Kaling of "The Office," which will follow three freshman roommates navigating college life.
- "Tokyo Vice" an action series based on a true story from Oscar-nominated director and legendary TV producer Michael "Miami Vice" Mann. This show will follow a young American journalist who dives into the dangerous underbelly of Tokyo.
- "Green Lantern" a new series featuring the DC Comics beloved superhero.
In addition, it was announced the service would be the streaming home of series from the CW Network such as "Riverdale" "The Flash" and "Batwoman." Also part of the equation will be the library of many HBO series which led to the "it's not TV" slogan.
"Game of Thrones will be part of the offerings, but not the much-touted spinoff starring Naomi Watts. Early Tuesday word leaked out that the pilot was being dropped by HBO. However, at the Burbank event, it was revealed that another spinoff, "House of the Dragon" would go directly to series for HBO. It will tell the story of the famed House Targaryen 300 years before "Game of Thrones."