Charter is the first cable company with a deal for HBO Max

Many will have access to the service at no extra charge.

Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

WarnerMedia didn’t initially say how TV providers besides AT&T would offer HBO Max, but that’s now becoming clear through a first-ever deal. Cable provider Charter has landed a multi-year agreement that will make HBO Max available to all of its existing HBO subscribers on Spectrum at no extra charge. You’ll only have to sign into the HBO Max app to start watching. Those without regular HBO can subscribe to Max directly through Charter, although there’s not much need for that if you know your way around a web browser..

You’ll have access to HBO Max through Charter upon its launch sometime in May.

While Max is a stand-alone service that’s meant to appeal to cord cutters (there’s even a deal with YouTube TV), there’s little doubt that cable partnerships like this are important to WarnerMedia’s underlying strategy. It’s trying to compete with incumbent streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and that means building an audience as quickly as possible — no-extra-charge access is a big boost, especially if Charter builds in access through its cable boxes.