The idea that Max (and HBO Max before it) might start offering live programming is not new. While it has remained unclear how far away the integration of live content might be, it looks like WBD is getting closer to making that integration official.
During the company’s Q2 earnings call earlier today, Zaslav first explained how Max “now has full capability to deliver live programming,” and added how “we’ll have more to say about that soon.”
Later in the same call, Zaslav made clear how “news and sports are important,” how “they’re differentiators” are how they make “platforms come alive.” Again, Zaslav explained that “you will hear from us on that soon.”
While WBD didn’t provide any clear indication on when subscribers can expect live news and sports to arrive on Max, the takeaway from the earnings call was that the company has so far been preoccupied with the launch of Max. Now that Max has launched, it would appear that Warner Bros. Discovery is ready to turn its attention to adding live sports.
Considering Max already has “full capability to deliver live programming,” and that the company owns “the digital rights to our sports,” it would seem likely that live programming will come sooner rather than later.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s Q2 results in general noted a decline in the number of global direct-to-consumers. WBD reported a total of 95.8 million subscribers, and this represented a drop of 1.8 million when compared to the previous quarter, albeit an increase on the second quarter of the year before.
While not directly attributed to it, the launch of Max was expected to have some impact on the number of subscribers, due to the overlap in content now between Max and Discovery Plus, and the decreased need for homes to remain subscribed to both services at the same time.