OFFICIAL: If you have HBO on DIRECTV, you’ll get HBO Max

Oh. My. Gosh. Was that so hard?

AT&T finally posted some information on their landing page for HBO Max that confirms it. Yes, if you subscribe to HBO through DIRECTV, you’ll get HBO Max. Of course everyone expected it, but for some reason AT&T stopped just shy of saying so. This made a few people more than a bit nervous.

Here are the exact words

Here’s what you’ll read on that landing page:

Already have HBO?
AT&T subscribers with an HBO subscription will be able to access HBO Max at no additional charge.

That part wasn’t completely new, but this is the first time that they’ve elaborated with the following:

Get HBO Max included at no additional cost with:

  • U400 and U450 TV
  • AT&T TV NOW Max
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan

So there it is. Even though they stopped just a little short of saying, “If you have HBO on DIRECTV you will get HBO Max,” they’re closing the loop pretty effectively with these statements. If you have HBO, and you get it on a service provided by AT&T, you’ll get HBO Max. It’s also been reported that if you have HBO through Charter you will get the new streaming service as well.

The one question that remains

AT&T is still being a little sheepish about the future of its current streaming apps, HBO GO and HBO NOW. These apps are identical, except for the idea that you can get HBO NOW without an HBO TV subscription.

The landing page, as it stands, says,

What will happen to the HBO channels, HBO on Demand, and HBO GO?
There are no plans to change your current HBO subscription.
HBO will remain a stand-alone brand and service and will continue to feature award-winning series and movies.

Yeah, AT&T, I hear you. HBO’s linear video services aren’t going anywhere. You’ll still be able to get HBO on demand through your cable or satellite subscriber. But again they stop just short of explaining what will happen to these streaming apps.

Now, for the life of me I don’t know why they would continue to support HBO GO and HBO NOW after the new service launches May 27. There may be some issue of supporting legacy devices, at least for a short time. AT&T announced, then rolled back, plans to take HBO off old AppleTV boxes. They may choose to keep the old apps for a couple of months to ensure a smooth transition, especially right now when everything is so chaotic.

But really, I can’t see a long-term future for those apps or even those services. It’s so obvious to me that the future is HBO Max. If you have HBO as a subscriber, you’ll get it for free or at a reduced price. If you don’t, you can subscribe to it.

I guess we’ll see on May 27

We’ll see when HBO Max launches on May 27. There should be a lot of great content, although the promised Friends reunion has been postponed until the six of them can actually be in a room. That’s fine, although “no one told me life was gonna be this way.”

April 23 edit:

DIRECTV’s facebook page now shows this image:

Finally, here’s something clear. I only hope they put this up after they read my article.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.