US operator AT&T cut the free HBO Max streaming service from its newest premium wireless tier that launched this week as it continues to re-tool its tariffs.
HBO Max was included on the mobile operator’s Unlimited Elite tariff. Unlimited Elite cost $85 per month and included unlimited talk, text, data, and 40 GB of hotspot data.
“HBO Max is a great service, but we constantly experiment with the features we offer our customers to give them the best value,” an AT&T spokesperson wrote in an email to Mobile World Live (MWL).
While Unlimited Elite is no longer listed as one of the plans on AT&T’s website, the spokesperson stated current Unlimited Elite customers weren’t impacted by the change.
The loss of HBO Max could be related to AT&T’s decision to combine WarnerMedia, which included HBO, with Discovery in April. Recon Analytics founder and lead analyst Roger Entner noted the decision to drop HBO Max may have been cost related.
“Content bundles rank, in most circumstances, as one of the lowest of the ten purchase decision factors we track at Recon Analytics,” Entner stated to MWL. “Why pay for something that doesn’t sway the purchase decision in a significant way?”
US website NextTV first reported the mobile operator was not offering HBO Max for free on its premium tariff.
AT&T is now offering Unlimited Premium for $85 per month which also includes unlimited talk, text, and 50 GB of hotspot data.
Verizon is still including Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ on several of its wireless tariffs while T-Mobile US is offering a free standard Netflix subscription on several of its Magenta Max plans.
In May, AT&T announced it was raising prices on some of its legacy mobile plans by $6 a month for single-line customers and up to $12 a month for families in an apparent effort to offset rising inflation costs.
The same month, Verizon stated it would add administration fees to monthly bills of $1.35 per single voice line up to $3.30 for four lines starting in June.
T-Mobile announced in late May that it wasn’t raising its wireless prices and that it would offer AT&T and Verizon subscribers up to $1,000 to switch.
Earlier this month, Verizon and T-Mobile issued dueling press releases that attacked each other’s pricing strategies in attempts to convince wireless consumers they offered the best deals.