Published: Thu, October 11, 2018

AT&T to launch streaming service, latest to counter Netflix

AT&T to launch streaming service, latest to counter Netflix

Stankey explained that the streaming service will be more expensive than HBO's current over-the-top subscription plan, though a final price will not be determined until the platform comes to market.

The question for HBO becomes whether the network can keep that Tiffany ($TIF) patina, even as it pumps out more content for a wider audience. The media conglomerate consists of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros., meaning that they have a great deal of attractive content and sizable resources at their disposal.

Shortly after AT&T ($T) closed its purchase of what was then Time Warner, its CEO Randall Stephenson memorably said HBO was the Tiffany to Netflix's Walmart.

The AT&T-owned company controls a healthy lineup of studio-driven movies and TV shows from Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, HBO, and more - including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Conjuring, the LEGO movie franchise, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon catalog, Looney Tunes, Mad Max, and Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. The sheer amount of content will certainly put this new service in contention with Netflix, Amazon, and Disney's upcoming streaming service. WarnerMedia, the newly named company that has come as a result of the AT&T and Time Warner merger, has announced plans for their own direct-to-consumer streaming service, set to launch in late 2019.

There's no early word on how the platform might be priced, nor on how WarnerMedia can successfully negotiate its way through the huge number of existing cable agreements that give third-party networks the rights to feature numerous movies that may one day find a home on the new service. "So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers". Some of the TV shows produced by Warner such as The Big Bang Theory are also in negotiations to be added to the new streaming service. Stankey said the company will mine its library and content engines to create such a service by the end of 2019.

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