WarnerMedia Winter TCA 2020 - PresentationPhoto by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

HBO Max is going to cost AT&T a lot of money — but company executives are mostly fine with a short-term loss if the long-term gain pays off.

AT&T reports in its quarterly earnings this morning that its WarnerMedia division lost more than $1 billion in revenue due to investment in HBO Max, the streaming service it’s preparing to launch this May. Specifically, those losses are due to “HBO Max investments in the form of foregone WarnerMedia content licensing revenues.” Basically, AT&T is taking a pretty big hit by not licensing a number of its WarnerMedia shows and movies to streaming competitors like Netflix and Hulu.

The goal is to bring all of its top IP over to HBO Max — like Friends and The Big Bang Theory — as exclusive offers to…

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