Roku and Amazon users will not able to join in on HBO Max’s big day. Sarah Tew/CNET HBO Max made its long-awaited debut Wednesday, but don’t expect to watch The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo or reruns of Friends via your Roku or Fire TV. That’s because those devices don’t yet have HBO Max apps.Despite being…
HBO Max made its long-awaited debut Wednesday, but don’t expect to watch The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo or reruns of Friends via your Roku or Fire TV. That’s because those devices don’t yet have HBO Max apps.
Despite being available on a host of platforms and devices — including iOS and Android, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and web browsers — HBO parent company AT&T has not yet reached an agreement with Roku or Amazon. This means that even if you have the HBO Go or HBO Now app on your Roku or Fire TV, or if your HBO subscription was upgraded to Max, you won’t be able to watch HBO Max on there.
HBO Now and Go users should still be able to use those respective apps to continue watching the regular HBO they already have.
As of Thursday afternoon, the apps remained missing on both Roku and Amazon’s respective platforms.
HBO Max: How to get it
In a statement, a Roku spokesman said the company still hopes to add HBO Max:
As the No. 1 streaming platform in the US we believe that HBO Max would benefit greatly from the scale and content marketing capabilities available with distribution on our platform. We are focused on mutually positive distribution agreements with all new (over-the-top) services that will deliver a quality user experience to viewers in the more than 40 million households that choose Roku to access their favorite programs and discover new content.
Unfortunately we haven’t reached agreement yet with HBO Max. While not on our platform today, we look forward to helping HBO Max in the future successfully scale their streaming business.
Amazon was a bit more aggressive. In a statement Wednesday, the company indicated that it is upset that AT&T isn’t just adding Max’s content to the regular HBO offering that’s available through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels.
“With a seamless customer experience, nearly 5 million HBO streamers currently access their subscription through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels,” a company spokeswoman said. “Unfortunately, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T is choosing to deny these loyal HBO customers access to the expanded catalog.
“We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using. That’s just good customer service and that’s a priority for us.”
For its part, a spokeswoman for AT&T’s WarnerMedia said in a statement that while the company is “thrilled that HBO Max is widely available at launch” its “goal is to make HBO Max available on every platform possible to as many viewers globally as possible.”
“We look forward to reaching agreements with the few outstanding distribution partners left, including with Amazon and on par with how they provide customers access to Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu on Fire devices.”
On Wednesday, WarnerMedia executives said that the company has apps ready for both Roku and Fire TV, adding that once deals are signed each app can be on their respective platform “minutes later.”