HBO presents pricing challenge for WarnerMedia streaming plans

|About: Charter Communications, Inc. (CHTR)|By:, SA News Editor

AT&T (NYSE:T) and its WarnerMedia have hit a frustrating hurdle as it plans for a major streaming service launch this year, the NYT notes: the cost of its flagship HBO service.

The $15/month that HBO has generally cost is close to written in stone due to longtime contracts with distributors.

But the streaming giants that Warner wants to compete with are generally already there or lower for their whole service: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) at $13 for its standard plan, Hulu (DIS, CMCSA) at $12 for its ad-free plan, and Amazon Prime video coming at the $119/year (nearly $10/month) price of a Prime subscription -- along with plans to price Disney Plus at $7/month.

A move to offer HBO to direct customers more cheaply risks the revenue streams from pay TV distributors like Comcast, Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Dish (NASDAQ:DISH).

Considering that HBO is sure to be at or near the center of Warner's new service, the result might even be offering the new streaming offering for free to those who already pay for HBO -- or alternately cutting HBO's price everywhere (including through its pay TV vectors).

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