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Roku Says They Don’t Currently Have a Deal to Carry HBO Max at Launch

Jason Gurwin

Earlier this week we learned that HBO Max doesn’t have a deal with Amazon to appear on Fire TV devices when the service launches in less than two weeks. During an interview, AT&T’s President John Stankey said the service will be available on “virtually all app stores or maybe one exception. It looks like we may not be in the Amazon Fire App Store when is all said is done.”

According to Roku, it may be more than just one exception. In a statement, Roku said they “don’t currently have an agreement in place with HBO Max.

“As the #1 streaming platform in the US with over 40 million active accounts that rely upon Roku to access their favorite programs and to discover new content, we are focused on entering into win-win distribution agreements with all new OTT services as part of their launch strategies. While we don’t typically comment on specific deal terms or negotiations, the fact is that in this instance while we believe that HBO Max would benefit greatly from distribution on Roku at launch, we do not currently have an agreement in place.”

Similar to Amazon, the dispute may be over whether HBO Max is available via The Roku Channel’s Premium Subscription service. Since Roku already distributes HBO NOW, the two sides not only have to reach a deal to upgrade current subscribers to HBO Max, but whether they will continue to distribute it through their marketplace going forward.

At a 30% monthly nut, it is probably too expensive for HBO to continue to do that — which may mean that HBO Max which no doubt will be on Roku eventually, might not be available right away.

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