HBO Max will be live on Roku starting tomorrow, Thursday, December 17, the companies said. The deal now offers streaming service coverage for all major over-the-top platforms. Roku’s absence was a big hole: Roku had 46 million active user accounts at the end of September.
The terms of the contract were not disclosed, but both sides said they were satisfied with the final resolution of their differences.
WarnerMedia wanted an HBO Max deal with Roku as the service’s last major distribution platform before the daily premiere of “Wonder Woman 1984” starring Gal Gadot on HBO Max and in theaters on December 25th. As previously announced, all films in Warner Bros. will debut simultaneously with theatrical release on HBO Max in the US in 2021 and will be available exclusively for streaming for a month.
Under the agreement, Roku users who have already subscribed to HBO through Roku will automatically update the existing HBO app on their devices to become the HBO Max app, and they will be able to sign in with their existing HBO credentials. It appears that in the future, Roku will no longer be able to sell HBO as a channel subscription in the Roku Channel Store, a concession that both Amazon and Apple made in their agreements for HBO Max.
Roku’s shares rose nearly 4% in after-hours trading following the announcement of the HBO Max deal.
“We believe all entertainment is streamed and we are excited to be working with HBO Max to bring their incredible library of iconic entertainment brands and blockbuster direct streaming theatrical releases to Roku households of more than 100 million people who Roku have made the # 1 TV streaming platform in America, “said Scott Rosenberg, SVP of Roku’s platform business, in a statement.
Rosenberg added, “By achieving mutual benefit agreements where Roku grows with our partners, we are delivering an exceptional user experience at an incredible price for consumers and we are excited about the opportunity to expand our longstanding relationship with the team at WarnerMedia deepen. “
Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer at WarnerMedia, said in a statement: “We’re breaking new ground in the coming months and can’t wait to work with our long-time partners at Roku to build on our previous successes and bring HBO Max’s world-class entertainment for Roku’s large and dedicated audience. “
One day later the news of the deal between WarnerMedia and Roku comes Comcast announced the launch of the streaming app for Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex while HBO Max launched earlier on PlayStation 5 earlier today. Amazon signed a deal to broadcast HBO Max on Fire TV and Fire Tablet devices in November after holding out for several months and eventually agreeing to stop selling HBO Amazon Prime video channels.
Even before HBO Max hit the market in late May, Roku and WarnerMedia had been haggling over the terms of the distribution agreement. Roku wanted to continue to have the ability to sell HBO through the Roku Channel Store, while WarnerMedia insisted on distributing HBO Max as a separate app. The two parties also sought to reach an agreement on which ad inventory to split with Roku for the ad-supported, discounted version of HBO Max, which is due out in late 2021.
HBO Max, which has a regular subscription price of $ 14.99 per month, touts 10,000 hours of premium curated content, including TV shows and movies from HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Turner Classic Movies.
In addition to the release of Wonder Woman 1984, this month HBO Max will be showing Carrie Underwood’s exclusive “My Gift: A Christmas Special,” a new “Euphoria” special episode starring Zendaya, Steven Soderbergh’s comedy film “Let Them” “All Talk” and four-part documentaries “Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults”.
One of the HBO Max program highlights in January is the second special episode “Euphoria”. “Search Party” season 4; a new season of “Selena + Chef”, the entire “Gossip Girl” library, season 1 of “Snowpiercer”, “The Alienist: Angel of Darkness” and “King of Staten Island”.