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HBO Max Content Spend Squeezes AT&T Revenue

Jill Goldsmith

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AT&T said content spending on WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service HBO Max pinched revenue, which eased to $4.68 billion in the fourth quarter from $4.8 billion the year before. Excluding investment in content licensing, revenue would have been flat year-on-year.

Fourth-quarter net income of $2.4 billion, or 0.33 per share was down from $4.9 billion, or 0.66 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings after write-offs were 0.89 cents versus 0.86 cents.

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At WarnerMedia, AT&T said foregone content licensing revenue in preparation for HBO Max launch impacted revenues and operating income.

Turner revenues were up 1.6% with subscription revenue gains. HBO revenues grew 1.9% with gains in digital subscribers.

Video subscribers continued their exodus as the company – and the industry – continues to focus on a “long-term value customer base.” AT&T reported a net loss of 945,000 premium TV subscribers and a net loss of 219,00 subs at AT&T TV Now.

It said AT&T Fiber net ads grew by 191,000 and  IP broadband revenue was up of 2.7%.

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