Roku and AT&T/WarnerMedia have finally reached an agreement for the smart media player resource to carry the popular new HBO Max premium app on Roku streaming devices and Roku TV sets, the companies announced.

Starting now (Dec. 17, 2020), Roku users will begin to find the HBO Max app in The Roku Channel store to, subscribe to and access the library of HBO Max content, including original productions offered exclusively through the app.

That means that on Christmas Day (Dec. 25), HBO Max subscribers, including now Roku users, will be able to watch at no additional cost beyond the subscription fee the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 smart TVs, and adapters (now including Roku ones).

The path to HBO Max is now clear for the last (and largest) media player company to carry the service. The two parties had been at loggerheads since May on reaching an agreement that would let Roku carry HBO Max as part of its Roku channel store offerings. Roku typically derives some of its revenue by selling subscriptions to apps through its platforms.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed in the companies’ announcement, but Scott Rosenberg, Roku Platform Business senior VP, called the agreement “mutually beneficial”.

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Both Roku and Amazon Fire TV initially barred from getting the app. By Fire TV struck a deal to carry HBO Max in November, leaving only Roku out in the cold. Speculation on Roku getting the app had heated up in recent weeks, helping to drive up the Roku stock price.

Roku users who already have subscribed to HBO service through their Roku device will find the HBO app automatically updated to HBO Max when available, after which they can log into their service using their previous credentials.

Roku users with HBO Max will find a large library of HBO original series including: Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Lovecraft Country and The Undoing. Also available are popular classic TV series including Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Big Bang Theory along with new originals including The Flight Attendant, Search Party and others.

In 2021, Roku will also gain access to a full slate of Warner Bros. films that will debut on HBO Max in the U.S. concurrently with their theatrical releases, including The Matrix 4, Mortal Kombat, The Suicide Squad, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

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By Greg Tarr

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