Roku clarifies it currently has no deal with HBO Max

Roku TV
HBO Max has officially announced many distribution deals with partners including Charter, Apple, Google and Hulu. (Roku)

Statements made this week by incoming AT&T CEO John Stankey seem to have caused some confusion about just which platforms will carry HBO Max when it launches on May 27.

Speaking at an investor conference on Wednesday, Stankey suggested that HBO Max will be virtually everywhere, with the possible exception of Amazon Fire TV.

"We're going to be available across a broad cross-section of distributors. I think that will help with the momentum of the product coming out the door," Stankey said, according to Light Reading. "We're going to be in virtually all app stores, with maybe one exception: It looks like we may not be in the Amazon Fire app store, when all is said and done. But we feel really good about the distribution dynamic."

In response, Roku made a somewhat extraordinary effort to clarify that it has yet to reach a distribution deal with HBO Max.

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"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,” said a Roku spokesperson.

HBO Max has officially announced many distribution deals, though. The service – which will combine HBO’s full lineup with an expanded slate of licensed content and original series – will be available at no extra cost to many of AT&T’s wireless, broadband and video subscribers. AT&T has also reached deals with YouTube TV, Charter and Hulu to give their existing HBO subscribers automatic access to HBO Max when it arrives.

HBO Max also announced that it will be available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast. Existing HBO Now subscribers who signed up through the App Store or Google Play will get access to HBO Max for no additional cost.

HBO Max will cost $14.99/month. AT&T expects to have 50 million domestic subscribers and 75-90 million premium subscribers by year-end in 2025 across the U.S., Latin America and Europe.