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HBO and HBO Max add another 3m global subscribers in Q1 to reach 76.8m

Warner Bros Discovery-owned HBO and HBO Max added a combined three million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 to reach a total of 76.8 million globally, AT&T has reported.

John Stankey

In the US, the cablenet and streaming platform now have a combined 48.6 million subscribers, an increase of 1.8 million over the previous quarter.

Over the past 12 months, HBO and HBO Max have added 12.8 million subscribers globally, 4.4 million of which are in the US.

While both HBO and HBO Max are now part the Warner Bros Discovery portfolio, the transaction only officially closed on April 8, meaning the financial reporting for the three months ended March 31 fell under telco giant AT&T.

Given the subscriber losses reported by Netflix earlier in the week, industry watchers were keen to see whether HBO Max would encounter similar turbulence.

While Netflix’s woes also dragged down the share price of competitors including Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount Global and Disney, the continued growth of HBO and HBO Max’s subscriber base indicates that they are not yet facing some of the headwinds encountered by Netflix, which has 221.6 million subscribers.

“[Warner Bros Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav] inherits an organisation with one of the best global portfolios of beloved intellectual property, a team with unparalleled talent, and one of the few truly global direct-to-consumer players, as evidenced by the continued growth in HBO Max and HBO subscribers,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey during an investor call.

“We’re excited about the potential for continued HBO Max growth as the service launches in more new territories.”

Warner Bros Discovery is set to hold its first investor call next week. While the reporting period will pre-date the closure of the WarnerMedia transaction, Zaslav is expected to further outline the vision for the combined entity.

Decisive moves have already been made since Zaslav took the reins, including the closure of CNN’s streaming platform CNN+ after just one month.

Zaslav recently selected the management team set to lead the combined entity, giving key roles to Channing Dungey, Casey Bloys and Kathleen Finch. Departures included WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and a host of other high-profile WarnerMedia execs.


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