HBO Max will no longer be available to new AT&T customers

HBO Max will no longer be available to new AT&T customers

Most cellphone providers give a free streaming video-on-demand subscription to get you to join them, but AT&T is no longer offering it to new users and hasn’t replaced it with another service. According to Next TV, the carrier quietly withdrew its top-tier Unlimited Elite package for new subscribers this week and replaced it with a new one that no longer includes HBO Max (via FierceWireless).

The new top package is named Unlimited Premium, and it costs $85 per month for a single line. Premium users, like the now-grandfathered Elite plan, enjoy unlimited talk/text/data, 4K video streaming, and no slowdowns even if they use a lot of data (a promise AT&T introduced for its priciest tier last July). However, no streaming video package is included; instead, you get 50GB of mobile hotspot data rather than 40GB.

While AT&T no longer encourages binge-watching, it does now package several subscription services for gaming. AT&T has been selling six months of Google Stadia Pro for more than a year and continues to do so, while it also began offering six months of Nvidia’s rival GeForce Now game streaming service to users in January (though it requires separate signup.)

Due to a cooperation with Google, AT&T cellular subscribers can now play two specialized cloud games via a web browser. Batman: Arkham Knight remains playable until June 15th, and AT&T also added a streamable version of Control. It has also hinted at even broader intentions for cloud gaming, such as allowing customers to try a game before purchasing it and transferring their progress to the full version.

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Even with the games, it’s difficult to overlook how AT&T + HBO Max enabled the firm to compete with T-Mobile + Netflix and Verizon + Disney Plus. However, given that AT&T no longer owns HBO, it makes sense that HBO Max is being phased out. The free HBO Max offer began in 2020, when the carrier still controlled Time Warner and, by extension, HBO. However, now that the new Warner Bros. Discovery owns HBO, AT&T would have to pay someone else for the service, and one major reason to offer HBO Max for free has vanished – AT&T no longer has to worry about expanding HBO Max’s subscriber counts.

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