HBO and HBO Max added 2.8 million subscribers in the second quarter, reaching 47 million in the US and helping parent AT&T beat Wall Street forecasts.
AT & T’s total revenue of $ 44 billion increased nearly 8% from the prior-year period and beat the analyst consensus estimate of $ 42.6 billion. Earnings per share rose 7% to 89 cents, well ahead of analysts’ outlook of 79 cents.
At WarnerMedia, revenue increased 31% to $ 8.8 million in the quarter, which ended June 30, as comparisons to the approximate quarter of 2020 became favorable. Advertising revenue increased 49% as sports took shape again.
Several Warner Bros movie titles were scored during the quarter, both in theaters and on HBO Max, as the studio continued its day-and-date release strategy. Godzilla vs. Kong, released the day before the quarter began, collected most of its returns during the period.
Full Olympic Games Broadcast & TV Schedule for Wednesday July 21 & Thursday July 22: Men’s Soccer, Softball & More
HBO Max, which launched in May 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, has now surpassed 67 million global subscribers. AT&T increased its subscriber guide to between 70 and 73 million subscribers by the end of 2021 (previously, the number was 67 million to 70 million).
At the end of the second quarter of 2020, HBO and HBO Max had 36.3 million subscribers,
WarnerMedia’s strong performance came when AT&T announced a spin-off of the entertainment company into a merged entity that would be controlled by Discovery. That deal, revealed last May, is expected to close in mid-2022.
By comparison, Disney has reached nearly 104 million subscribers with Disney + and Netflix this week reported reaching 209 million globally. But HBO Max’s average revenue per user is near the top of the class in the industry.
In addition to the WarnerMedia-Discovery plan, DirecTV’s spin-off into a new company in which private equity firm TPG will have a 30% stake will be closed in the coming weeks, AT&T said in its earnings report.
AT&T has struggled to reduce its debt load after swallowing DirecTV and Time Warner. None of the acquisitions were entirely successful, charging shareholders with tens of billions in losses.