The Verge: streaming is it.
HBO Max needs to pay off for AT&T — especially as other parts of AT&T’s television businesses flounder. People aren’t paying for cable bundles anymore. Even if they want access to TNT for basketball games, a lot of customers don’t want the other networks that come with it — especially when content from those networks wind up on Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, or Amazon Prime Video a short while later. AT&T needs those customers cutting their cable and other TV packages to transition over to HBO Max. Although AT&T boasts that HBO Max has more than 28 million subscribers, the company includes people who are eligible but have not activated those subscriptions; 70 percent of those eligible to use HBO Max for free as part of an upgrade have yet to do so, according to Variety.
We live in an a la carte world. The pump has to be primed for viewers to watch what they want when they want. Essentially, the media companies want to make the horse drink the water.