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Max becomes the first to offer NBA All-Star Game in Dolby Vision

Max will begin offering live sports with Dolby Vision support, starting with the NBA All-Start Game.

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Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) says it will offer the upcoming NBA All-Star Game through its streaming service Max in Dolby Vision, becoming the first streaming service to offer a live sports tournament in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) video format.

The update comes at a time when some of WBD’s competitors, including Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video, are relegating enhanced features like Dolby Vision to their higher-priced tiers of service.

Unlike those services, Max will offer all subscribers live sports with Dolby Vision through its Bleacher Report-branded sports add-on plan. The add-on is currently free to all subscribers (though WBD plans on charging Max subscribers around $10 for the add-on in the near future).

B/R Sports on Max | Watch Live Sports

HBO Max offers a diverse streaming catalogue, including broad entertainment ranges from HBO originals, movies, and series to Warner Bros content, tailored for varied viewer preferences.

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Sudheer Sirivara, the EVP of Global Technology at WBD, said of the new streaming perk:

“We know how crucial it is for sports fans to have a top-notch live video player experience so they can truly engage with the action. We’re excited to launch this industry-first feature and bring fans even closer to the game.”

The Dolby Vision feature will launch within the Bleacher Report app during the NBA All-Star tournament, which starts Friday, February 16, and lasts through Sunday, February 18.

The exhibition game spotlights the top 24 players in the league, split among two teams — one representing the Eastern Division/Conference and the other from the Western Division/Conference.

Dolby Vision is an enhanced video feature that uses metadata embedded in digital video streams to improve screen contrast, highlights, and colors.

Many TV sets support Dolby Vision, including smart TVs made by Sony, LG, TCL, and Vizio.

Samsung TVs are an outlier: They support HDR 10 and HDR 10+, which compete with Dolby Vision but offer many of the same benefits.

That said, flagship Samsung phones and tablets generally offer Dolby Vision support, as do Apple iPhones and iPads, which are made with Samsung-supplied display panels.

A number of streaming video services offer TV shows and movies with Dolby Vision support, including Disney+, Apple TV+, Netflix, Max, Amazon’s Prime Video, and the Vudu video rental store. Dolby Vision can also be found on some games for Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Why streamers are adding more sports

The demand for streaming sports content is at an all-time high, with sports fans looking to lower-priced alternatives to cable and satellite that offer added flexibility to watch live sports across phones, tablets, TVs, and other platforms.

A slew of new streaming services has cropped up over the past few years, including sports-filled broadcasts and cable channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, and Fox Sports 1, including services like YouTube TV, Fubo, and DirecTV Stream.

Over time, the cost of some of those services has started to approach cable and satellite prices.

Standalone streaming services like Max offer sports fans an alternative to the cable TV bundle by offering a limited amount of sports programming from co-owned channels that are priced relatively affordable.

The Bleacher Report add-on by Max will cost $10 per month and offer live sports from WBD’s cable channels, including games from NCAA March Madness, NBA, NHL, MLB playoffs, and more.

Starting next year, some of those channels will also offer NASCAR Cup Series races, meaning those events will stream through Max with the Bleacher Report add-on.

Some sports organizations are also getting into the streaming game: Two years ago, the National Football League (NFL) released the NFL+ app. A premium version of NFL+ released this year also included NFL RedZone for $14 per month.

Streaming sports is a win-win for brands and customers alike. Customers get the added flexibility of watching sports across different devices (, and streaming services have more live programming to convince customers to stick around long after their favorite TV show or movie has ended.

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Matthew Keys is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers the intersection of media, technology and journalism. He is the publisher of TheDesk.net and a contributor to KnowTechie, StreamTV Insider (formerly Fierce Video) and Digital Content Next. Matthew is based in Northern California.

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