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Some of you will get HBO Max for free when it launches in May

Published Apr 16th, 2020 10:39PM EDT
HBO Max launch date
Image: David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

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  • HBO Max’s launch date will be revealed soon, one of the last remaining details to learn about the latest subscription-based streaming video product to launch this year.
  • Others include NBC’s Peacock as well as Quibi, but HBO Max will come roaring out of the gate in a way that neither of those will be able to thanks to its ability to offer HBO’s slate of originals as well as programs and shows from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, TNT, and much more.
  • Also, Charter subscribers who currently subscribe to HBO can get HBO Max for free.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Even before the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak exploded around the world, this year was already shaping up to be jam-packed on the streaming media front, with the launch of a handful of high-profile new streaming video services including Quibi, NBC’s streamer Peacock, and, soon, an all-new and even more content-packed tier of HBO called HBO Max.

HBO Max is just what the name implies — the “Max” reflects the fact that this new subscription offering is a super-stacked version that will give users tons more to watch beyond what you get with a standard HBO subscription. You’ll have HBO’s standard original programming with this tour, obviously, but also 10,000 hours of content at launch including extras from HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia like Friends (which the company stole away from Netflix) as well as TV classics like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Big Bang Theory, and South Park. This product will cost $15/month when it launches in May (we don’t have an exact date yet), which definitely puts it on the high side compared to the price of rivals like Netflix (the most popular tier of which costs $13/month) and Disney+ ($7/month). But there’s good news on that front — some of you will be getting this for the grand total of absolutely nothing.

Already, we knew that AT&T customers who already subscribed to HBO will get HBO Max for free. The same also holds true for Charter Communications Inc. subscribers who currently subscribe to HBO. That’s according to a press release from WarnerMedia, which notes that all of Charter’s existing HBO subscribers, including subscribers in its Spectrum Silver and Gold video packages, will automatically get access to HBO Max and its expanded programming for no additional charge. Even better, no action will be required on their part, beyond signing in to the HBO Max app.

“Charter has been a longtime distributor of our networks and on-demand content and a valued partner to our company,” said Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution. “We look forward to working together to bring HBO Max to Spectrum subscribers when the product launches next month.”

Among the additional content HBO Max will be able to boast are programs and shows from the likes of Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, TNT, TBS, truTV, the Cartoon Network, and more. A Friends reunion special is also in the works, though the timing of its release on HBO Max is up in the air for now. It had been planned as a marquee offering meant to be available at launch, but that got scuttled as a result of the coronavirus forcing it and so many other Hollywood productions to get put on hold.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.