AT&T’s Audience Network has been scheduled for demolition since earlier this year and now the company says both the linear and streaming channel will shut down on May 22.
The company alerted customers via email over the weekend about the impending end for Audience, which is available on DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now. The announcement puts an official date on AT&T’s plans to transition its network – which houses scripted originals and licensed content – over to an HBO Max preview channel. HBO Max – the company’s new $14.99/month streaming service – is scheduled to launch in May.
“We will begin to transition AUDIENCE Network from its current approach to support AT&T’s broader original content and marketing focus on the upcoming HBO Max service,” said Daniel York, chief content officer at AT&T Consumer, in a January statement. “I am proud and grateful to the team at AUDIENCE for their many successes over the years, creating unique, fresh and provocative content along with our great studio partners.”
Audience launched as FreeView in November 1999 and primarily focused on music and concerts. The channel went onto add original scripted series including “Mr. Mercedes” and “Loudermilk.” It’s unclear what will become of Audience’s originals after the shutdown but according to Hollywood Reporter, some of the shows may jump over to HBO Max.
HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of content, including the entire HBO service and new HBO Max Originals. The service will also have a library of content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes along with some third-party licensed series and films.
The service has reached distribution agreements with both YouTube TV and Charter. Existing HBO subscribers from both of those services will get immediate access to HBO Max when it launches.