HBO Max originals jump to live TV via TBS and TNT

WarnerMedia is making a handful of HBO Max originals available outside the subscription streaming service when it launches Front Row on TBS and TNT this summer.

Front Row will be a programming block with limited commercial interruptions that will be available through TBS and TNT’s MVPD partners. Beginning this summer, TBS and TNT will broadcast Max Original acclaimed fan favorites: “Love Life,” “Close Enough,” “12 Dates of Christmas,” “Titans” and “Class Action Park,” making the content available via weekly linear rollouts and VOD.

The first season of “The Flight Attendant,” which WarnerMedia said reached 1.6 million viewers during its premiere sneak peek in November 2020 on TBS, will be available to watch on TBS in 2022 ahead of its second season premiere on HBO Max. TNT content including “Rich People Problems” (working title), “Rhodes to the Top,” “Claws” and “Snowpiercer,” will also be offered to consumers with limited commercials. The company said that TBS content will be announced for the Front Row slate at a later date.

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“Our first consideration is the consumer experience, and we are always thinking of ways to innovate upon, experiment with, and improve that experience,” said Brett Weitz, general manager at TBS, TNT and truTV, in a statement. “‘Front Row’ is a sure way to continue to reward the 215 million people who invited us into their homes in 2020 by enabling the great shows on HBO Max to be added to our vast content offerings in a way that has fewer interruptions but adds power and focus to those advertising partners that are also invested in being consumer-first. It’s win/win for our fans and our advertisers.”

Front Row on TBS and TNT, in addition to providing unique marketing opportunities for advertisers, could help drive consumers toward the HBO Max platform. It’s a strategy that’s been used by other premium and subscription channels.

Late last year, Showtime launched a free, ad-supported channel on Pluto TV to highlight some of its original content. Netflix has also begun testing a linear TV channel on the web to preview its content in some countries.

HBO Max is planning to launch an ad-supported version of its service—which will include ads on Max originals but not HBO originals—next month.