After almost three years without it, Dish Network has announced that HBO is back in the fold. Dish customers will be able to add HBO Max immediately as an add-on to their current plans.
Dish and HBO Strike a Deal
Despite continuing to lose customers who cut the cord, Dish remains one of the popular largest television streaming services in the United States. That has made it odd that the service has not offered HBO for almost three years. In August 2021, Dish announced that it had reached a deal with AT&T, which had acquired HBO via its WarnerMedia acquisition, and that it would immediately offer both HBO and HBO Max.
The Dish and WarnerMedia Dispute
Disputes such as the one which occurred between WarnerMedia and Dish Network are not uncommon. In fact, they have become increasingly common as more people stream TV shows and movies and the television industry continues to evolve. But what was unusual was the time frame. Three years is unheard of for a carriage dispute, and when both companies walked away from the negotiating table, neither looked back. Back then, the companies had a fundamental disagreement. HBO wanted more money but demanded it remains in the premium bundle. Dish Network was both unwilling to raise the bundle price or eat the increase. But the feud went beyond just this basic disagreement. The relationship between the major players had become contentious and even personal according to some reports.
Much Has Changed Since Then
Although a deal once seemed impossible, most of the people involved at both Dish Network and WarnerMedia had moved on. In addition, WarnerMedia had been acquired by AT&T. While Dish and AT&T had once had a contentious relationship as well, the two have become chummy since. AT&T recently partnered with Dish after a falling out between Dish and T-Mobile, and many industry insiders believe that this harmony is setting the stage for an inevitable merger between Dish and the AT&T-owned DirecTV. It also does not hurt that HBO has become one of the most popular and influential networks in the world.
The Dish and HBO Compromise
While the details of the deal are not publicly available, we can make some presumptions based on how HBO has been added to the Dish lineup. It is not part of the premium bundle, and the premium bundle is not getting a price increase. In addition, any Dish customer can add HBO as a standalone channel regardless of which plan they are currently subscribed to. Dish gets to preserve its popular premium bundle as is, and HBO is so big and successful now that it likely no longer cares about being bundled.
A Deal to Bring the Customers Back
Some customers have asked if it even matters anymore. HBO has long been available as a standalone subscription for Dish subscribers who wanted it. The only issue there is that you could only watch it streaming rather than via the satellite service. It probably does matter to those with poor Internet, and for current HBO subscribers, it is a nice perk without any additional cost.
In fact, customers can actually save money because of a current promotion. Dish Network will give you an introductory price of $12 a month for 12 months. If you keep it after that period, the price will increase to $15 a month, which is the amount that you would normally pay for ad-free HBO Max. You can also opt for the ad-supported tier, which costs just $10 a month but does not include day-and-date releases