Roku Customers Won’t Be Able to Access HBO App with Cable Credentials Starting July 31st
Earlier this month, HBO announced that they would be sunsetting HBO GO on July 31st and migrating those users to a new HBO App (in addition to the HBO Max App). Unfortunately, for Roku users, since HBO Max is not yet available on the service, streamers who get HBO through their cable company won’t be able to access HBO very easily.
WarnerMedia will be replacing HBO NOW with a rebranded HBO App, but cable authentication isn’t supported. That means in order for cable customers (and those who subscribed via Roku) will have to access HBO content through their cable company’s platform. If you already created a HBO Max account, you may be able to use your log-in to access HBO Now.
- Comcast: Xfinity Stream
- Charter: Spectrum TV
- AT&T: AT&T TV
- Roku: The Roku Channel
Those who signed-up for HBO through services like Verizon Fios, Frontier, Google Fiber, Hulu, and Prime Video Channels will be able to access HBO NOW on Roku.
In a letter to customers (a full copy is below), Roku said they are “disappointed that HBO will no longer give its customers access to HBO GO - and that HBO is taking this action at a time when so many people are at home.”
When HBO Max launched on March 15th, it was available on Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PS4, Samsung Smart TV, iOS, Android, and your computer. Two notable missing supported platforms are Amazon Fire TV and Roku. The two platforms make up nearly 80 million active streamers, which will leave many in a lurch.
While Roku devices natively support Google Cast and Amazon Fire TV can with a third-party app, the HBO Max App has blocked Casting to Roku streaming players and Fire TV devices. This is different than on “unsupported” Smart TVs, where there are no native apps for LG and VIZIO Smart TVs, but HBO Max does work through AirPlay on those devices.
At the center of the dispute with Amazon & Roku, is whether HBO Max is available via Amazon Prime Video Channels or The Roku Channel’s Premium Subscription service. Since Roku and Amazon already distribute HBO NOW, the 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.
Full Roku Letter
As you may know, HBO made the decision to discontinue access to HBO GO on nearly all streaming platforms as of July 31, 2020. HBO GO enables cable subscribers to access HBO via the streaming platform of their choosing at no additional cost.
We are disappointed that HBO will no longer give its customers access to HBO GO - and that HBO is taking this action at a time when so many people are at home.
We believe providing an exceptional user experience is paramount and we have asked HBO to reconsider their decision. Unfortunately at this time they are still planning to shut down HBO GO.
Meanwhile our customers can still access HBO in a number of ways across our platform. Existing HBO users that subscribe through Comcast, Charter or AT&T TV can stream HBO on the Comcast Xfinity Stream, Spectrum TV and AT&T TV channels available on the Roku platform. Additionally, if you would like to continue to access HBO on Roku you may subscribe directly to HBO on The Roku Channel.