WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has confirmed that the AT&T unit – comprising HBO, Turner and Warner Bros, created following the telco’s acquisition of Time Warner – is to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service. Existing OTT and SVoD platforms operated by AT&T are DirecTV Now, HBO Go and HBO Now.
“Today we announced plans to launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019,” he said in a statement, having unveiled the plan during an address at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles. “This is another benefit of the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and we are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation loved by consumers around the world. We expect to create such a compelling product that it will help distributors increase consumer penetration of their current packages and help us successfully reach more customers,” he said.
In a separate Securities and Exchange Commission filing, AT&T said it expected financial support to launch the product to come from a combination of incremental efficiencies within the WarnerMedia operations, consolidating resources from sub-scale D2C efforts, fallow library content, and technology reuse. “We expect to defer some licensing revenues to later periods in the form of increased customer subscription revenues,” it added.