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Roku Confirms Deal to Bring AT&T TV NOW Back to Platform, Still No Deal with AT&T For HBO Max

Jason Gurwin

Starting on January 1st, 2020 new AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW subscribers could no longer install the apps onto Roku streaming players. Customers who had already installed the service to their Roku devices were able to continue to use it, as long as they did not delete the app. At the time, the two sides said they “were actively working on a new agreement.”

However, it wasn’t until yesterday that AT&T TV & AT&T TV NOW returned to Roku streaming players. Roku has confirmed to The Streamable that the two sides have reached a new deal, but the deal does not include AT&T’s HBO Max, which launches next week.

In a statement last week regarding HBO Max, Roku said:

“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.”

Unlike AT&T TV NOW, which was likely a dispute over ad inventory, Roku is probably holding out on allowing HBO Max on the platform unless it 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.