Sen. Angus King proposes Netflix, Disney, HBOMax stream free over holidays to stop COVID-19 spread

Greg Nash

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) called on video streaming platforms to make their content available for free during the holiday season to encourage people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Monday letter, King urged executives with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max and Hulu to provide temporary free service to positively reinforce remaining indoors and avoiding the kind of holiday gatherings that could spread the virus.

“While your platforms would likely experience greater traffic as a consequence of extending service, we encourage you to provide temporary service at no cost to nonsubscribers as a way to encourage people to make responsible choices and safely navigate this holiday season,” he wrote.

King previously wrote a column in the Times Record about his family’s decision not to hold its traditional Thanksgiving get-together. Earlier in 2020, he joined 17 other senators in asking major internet service providers to improve remote technologies to allow for the large numbers of people working or learning from home.

Numerous streaming platforms have taken steps to adapt to the pandemic and the closure of most movie theaters. Disney+ in July released a filmed performance of the hit 2016 musical “Hamilton,” originally set for a theatrical release.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, has announced that it will premiere the long-delayed “Wonder Woman: 1984” simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas. The studio will use the same model for its entire 2021 slate of films.

The Hill has reached out to Netflix, Hulu, Disney, HBO and Amazon for comment.

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