Cable Tech

WarnerMedia to sunset HBO Go as HBO Max rises

About two weeks into the HBO Max era, WarnerMedia is pushing ahead with branding changes that aim to eliminate consumer confusion surrounding the media giant's array of HBO-branded streaming services. However, those moves might ultimately cause even more confusion, at least in the near term.

Here's the general gist:

  • WarnerMedia will phase out HBO Go, the multiscreen streaming app for customers who subscribe to HBO through a pay-TV distributor, this summer and replace it with HBO Max, the new super-sized subscription VoD service that launched on May 27. HBO Go, a service that debuted back in February 2010, will sunset on July 31, 2020. This change covers pay-TV customers who get HBO through providers that have inked deals for HBO Max, including Altice USA, AT&T/DirecTV, Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, YouTube TV, Hulu, Verizon and operators that are part of the National Cable Television Cooperative.

  • However, consumers who subscribe to HBO through a pay-TV partner that still lacks a distribution deal for HBO Max (Dish Network and Sling TV are two prime examples) can still use their login credentials to access HBO content via the web, at hbogo.com, through August 31. Expect WarnerMedia to use this temporary period to buy some time to apply a bit more pressure on Dish to strike up a deal for HBO Max.

  • HBO Now, a standalone, OTT-delivered HBO subscription service introduced about five years ago, will be rebranded as "HBO."

    According to Variety, WarnerMedia is not simply converting everything and everyone to HBO Max, in part because it does not yet have agreements in place to offer HBO Max on two key platforms – Roku and Amazon's Fire TV. However, HBO Now (which, as you might recall, is becoming "HBO") is accessible on Roku and Fire TV.

    Easy peasy, right? Well, the Twitterverse had some fun with it, anyway.

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    — Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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