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AT&T raises revenue forecast thanks to HBO Max and emerges stronger from pandemic

By Sheila Dang and Eva Mathews

Jul 22 (.) – AT&T Inc raised its full-year financial forecast on Thursday as the telecommunications company emerged from the pandemic with more wireless and Internet customers, beating analysts’ estimates for phone and mobile subscribers. revenue in the second quarter.

The results come as AT&T is undoing its expensive media investments to focus on its original business, which is providing Internet and phone services.

Before closing a deal to bundle its media content with Discovery, AT&T said WarnerMedia continued to attract more customers to the HBO Max streaming service and posted higher revenues from live sports and televised events broadcast during the pandemic. .

The company added 789,000 new net phone subscribers who paid a monthly bill during the quarter ending June 30, beating Wall Street estimates of 278,000 new subscribers, according to data from research firm FactSet. WarnerMedia added 2.8 million US subscribers to its premium channel HBO and streaming platform Max during the quarter, thanks to new movies such as “In the Heights” and “Mortal Kombat,” based on the popular video game.

The growth of new digital video subscribers is a sign that the streaming market is still expanding in the United States, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said in an interview, despite Netflix reporting losing 430,000 subscribers in the United States. United States and Canada in the second quarter.

“The market is expanding based on consumer spending … but you have to deliver to customers every day,” he said. Kilar added that HBO Max’s subscriber growth in Latin America is going to exceed the absolute number of subscriber additions in the US market during the second half of this year and that he would “not be surprised” if that trend persists in 2022.

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The company said during a conference call with analysts that it would delay the launch of HBO Max in some European markets until early 2022 to focus on its initial success in Latin America.

AT&T raised its forecast for global HBO Max subscribers to between 70 and 73 million by the end of the year. It previously expected between 67 and 70 million subscribers.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; additional information by Helen Coster and Kenneth Li in New York. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)

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