The AT&T-owned media conglomerate had a pact with Cox to offer the operator’s HBO customers access to HBO Max for no extra cost for the May 2020 launch. Now, Cox customers can access HBO Max via their Contour 2 or Contour Stream Player devices, and can also subscribe to HBO Max directly via their Contour TV device using their remote control.
Cox had an estimated 3.65 million TV subs at the end of 2020, per Leichtman Research. HBO Max similarly became available customers of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, on Xfinity and Flex set-tops in mid-December.
By putting HBO Max at the fingertips of cable TV customers, WarnerMedia is hoping to boost active users of the premium streamer. At the end of 2020, WarnerMedia had 41.5 million combined HBO Max and HBO U.S. subscribers, up 20% year over year. However, of the 37.7 million HBO Max-eligible subs at year-end, less than half of those — 17.2 million — had activated HBO Max.
In 2021, HBO Max subscribers will get day-and-date access to Warner Bros.’ entire film slate with theatrical release, including the upcoming “Godzilla vs. Kong” (March 31).
WarnerMedia is planning to debut a price-reduced, ad-supported version of HBO Max later in 2021. The company also is set to expand HBO Max into 39 territories throughout Latin America in June, and the HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, the Baltics and Portugal) will be upgraded to HBO Max later this year.