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

HBO Max is launching in spring 2020. (WarnerMedia)

AT&T’s WarnerMedia division today revealed that its upcoming streaming service will be called HBO Max, and it will house several original series plus exclusive rights to “Friends.”

The service is scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020 and is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content. The company did not yet reveal pricing for the service.

HBO Max will include HBO content alongside originals and programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes.

“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends,’” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, in a statement.

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Exclusives to the platform include “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Pretty Little Liars” along with new DC Entertainment series “Batwoman” and “Katy Keene.” HBO Max originals include “Dune: The Sisterhood,” from director Denis Villeneuve; “Tokyo Vice;” “The Flight Attendant,” which will star Kaley Cuoco; “Love Life,” starring Anna Kendrick; and “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment.

The service will also be home to several HBO series previously announced for 2020 and 2021. Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO, continues to oversee content on the HBO service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased 50%.

Kevin Reilly, president of the Warner Media Entertainment Networks that include TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max overseeing all new Max Originals and library content.

Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and formerly CEO of Hulu, as the general manager.

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Comcast reached a distribution agreement with HBO Max and will offer the service for no extra charge to its existing HBO subscribers.

Today’s launch for HBO Max has been mired somewhat by the service’s absence from Amazon and Roku streaming devices.