AT&T Chief Executive Officer John Stankey Updates Shareholders - Seite 2
HBO Max progress continues with increased engagement. Stankey is pleased with the initial performance of HBO Max, which contributed to an increase in total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers in the first half of 2020 and helped the company reach its subscriber target earlier than expected. The company had originally projected a total of 36 million HBO and HBO Max domestic subscribers by year-end 2020. He reiterated that HBO Max has generated solid levels of viewer engagement, as reflected in significantly higher weekly viewing hours than for HBO Now, and noted that AT&T customers had higher levels of HBO Max engagement and activations. AT&T believes it has additional opportunities to engage viewers both as it scales its direct-to-consumer offerings and works with theatrical release partners to explore distribution models. As previously announced, AT&T is also developing an advertising-based version of HBO Max to support its customer acquisition and engagement goals.
Broadband accessibility. Stankey said that the COVID pandemic has further illustrated the need for universal broadband — not just to address the educational needs of America’s students and help charge the economy, but also to create opportunities for entirely new markets. He said that private investment to build broadband networks has been largely successful. However, he believes that strategic collaboration with and investment from the federal government will help provide universal access to broadband.
Confident in resilient businesses and strong cash flows to support financial commitments. Stankey reiterated that AT&T remains confident in the resiliency of its wireless, broadband and business connectivity operations even with an otherwise challenged economic backdrop. He said that the COVID pandemic has underscored the need for high quality connectivity empowering customers — both consumers and businesses — to take advantage of the significant network improvements made over the last few years. Stankey also said that even with limited visibility into the longer-term economic effects and duration of the COVID pandemic, the company remains confident in its ability to generate strong cash flows to support its financial commitments, including its dividend policy and further debt reduction.