HBO Max's big launch is only a mere week away, and a new report shows that they've yet to seal the deal on a couple of major platforms. And it's coming down to — of course — money. Editor's Note: We just learned of three devices that are getting HBO Max, details below.
A report from Variety this morning describes WarnerMedia and Roku as "racing to hammer out" the deal. So far, zero hardware support has been announced for HBO Max, which seems a bit odd this close to the release date.
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Variety says the "main sticking point on a HBO Max/Roku agreement likely revolves around how big a cut of subscription fees Roku will take." Recently, Roku and Fox waited until the very last second before Super Bowl LIV to hammer out deals for Fox Sports coverage on the platform. This might remind you of when Disney and Amazon fought over ad revenue for the Disney Plus platform on Fire devices.
Speaking of Amazon, the report is a little pessimistic about the chances HBO Max lands on Fire TV, saying "sorry, Amazon Fire TV owners: It appears that HBO Max will not be there for you on May 27." Earlier this month, AT&T's new CEO John Stankey told investors that while they expected to be "in virtually all app stores" at launch, "it looks like we may not be in the Amazon Fire app store when all of this is said and done.”
Of course, Fire TV devices got Disney Plus at launch, so maybe this is all corporate posturing, with all parties aware that the best thing for everyone is to land a deal before the 27th. As long as the deal is signed, how much does it matter when it happens if the app isn't available yet?
Announced HBO Max integrations have included Apple TV's app, and deals have been made for distribution through Hulu, Google, YouTube TV and terrestrial cable companies such as Charter Communications and Spectrum.