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AT&T trademark filing for WarnerMedia Ride hints at automotive entertainment plans

AT&T could be planning to take its WarnerMedia content well beyond the living room.

AT&T could soon expand its WarnerMedia content to the car. 
Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T already has deals in place with a host of automakers to offer wireless connectivity in cars. Now, a new patent application seems to hint that the company has plans to take other parts of its many businesses on the road. 

In a trademark filing, the company seems to have reserved the name "WarnerMedia Ride." While not much is known about the new service, the description notes that it is intended to "cover the category of downloadable mobile applications to connect wireless networks in vehicles for streaming audio-visual media content and video-on-demand content." 

In addition to the filing, there are Instagram and Twitter handles seemingly parked for the property. While the Instagram account is barren, the Twitter handle is already verified and has a link to a WarnerMedia Ride website that currently redirects to the main page. 

The Twitter account also includes a description for the new service in its bio section, telling people to "download the WarnerMedia Ride App for the best news, sports & entertainment in your 🚗."

Megan L. Martin, vice president and chief trademark counsel at Warner Bros. Entertainment, is listed as the attorney on the filing. 

AT&T declined to comment. 

Established after AT&T completed its $85 billion merger with Time Warner in 2018, WarnerMedia is the group that houses a host of the telecom giant's entertainment offerings, including the Warner Bros. film studio, DC Comics, cable channels TNT, TBS and CNN, sports platforms Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, premium channels HBO and Cinemax as well as the HBO Max streaming service.

While it is unclear which properties will be involved or how much a service like this might cost, AT&T's connected cars website lists that the company already has relationships with over 25 automakers -- including BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Porsche and Toyota -- to provide cellular connectivity in their cars. 

Offering more entertainment on the go would make sense for both AT&T and the automakers as cars increasingly become more advanced. A number of recent models across various brands already include large touchscreens, with Tesla going so far as to offer apps for Netflix, YouTube and Hulu for use when its vehicles are parked. 

While not currently listed on AT&T's site, Tesla previously worked with the wireless carrier on providing cellular connectivity for its cars.