Upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max won’t be all “Friends” reruns and “Barry” episodes.
“This won’t be at the early stages of HBO Max, but you should assume that ultimately HBO Max will have live elements,” AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday.
He singled out Turner’s news and sports programming, for examples. “NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA basketball — those are going to be really, really important elements for HBO Max,” Stephenson said. “The same with news.”
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Stephenson’s remarks came during the Q&A portion of this morning’s conference call, where he and other company executives discussed their second-quarter 2019 financial results.
Also during the call, Stephenson commented on the ongoing CBS blackout, and revealed the date for AT&T Investor Day. On Oct. 29, we’ll learn more about the upcoming streaming service, he promised.
AT&T had a pretty good Q2, meeting Wall Street’s expectations on earnings per share and exceeding the forecast for revenue.
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Last week, WarnerMedia named the HBO Max executive team that will work under previously appointed chief content officer Kevin Reilly and head of originals Sarah Aubrey: Joey Chavez as executive vice president of original drama; Jessie Henderson as executive vice president of original feature films; Jeniffer Kim as senior vice president of international originals; Suzanna Makkos as executive vice president of original comedy and animation, and Jennifer O’Connell as executive vice president of original non-fiction and kids.
Aubrey was named head of originals for the service in January. Reilly serves as chief content officer for HBO Max and president of cable networks TNT, TBS and truTV.
On the business operations and strategy group are: Eric Besner as senior vice president of business development and strategy; Sandra Dewey as president of business operations and production; Meredith Gertier as executive vice president of program strategy and planning (she will report to HBO programming president Casey Bloys); and Michael Quigley is executive vice president of content acquisitions and strategy.
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HBO Max will launch in Spring 2020, featuring programming centered around HBO, Warner Bros, New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes. It will have the rights to former NBC sitcom “Friends” when it launches, as well as other classic sitcoms like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
The streaming service will also have a bevy of original content including four Greg Berlanti-produced films and two romantic comedies from Reese Witherspoon. Original series slated for the service include a “Dune” spinoff from Denis Villeneuve (who is also directing the big-screen reboot), the Ansel Elgort-starring “Tokyo Vice,” a “Gremlins” animated series and a sequel to The CW’s “Gossip Girl.”