Roku and HBO Max Reportedly Near a Distribution Deal

You could be able to stream your favorite HBO Max show from your Roku device soon. With the HBO Max app securing a spot on Amazon Fire TV Monday, Roku is now the last remaining streaming gatekeeper yet to make an agreement with WarnerMedia for its new streaming service. Still, a new report from The Desk citing sources familiar with negotiations says the two companies are ironing out the final details on a deal that could go into effect by the end of the year.

Roku CFO Steve Louden said in an online appearance Tuesday at an RBC Capital Markets conference said he didn’t "have any specific update" on the company’s negotiations with HBO Max, but assured "we continue to talk to folks," as per Deadline. According to ComScore, Roku's platform, combined with Amazon Fire TV, accounts for 70% of all Subscription Video on Demand consumer traffic. While Amazon Fire TV reportedly reaches 40 million households, Roku tops it at 46 million, making it a major snag in HBO Max's attempt to dominate the streaming game, having previously reached deals with Apple, Google and several other smart TV providers.

"We generally don’t talk about where we’re at in deals," Louden said at RBC’s Global Technology, Media, Internet and Telecommunications Conference, according to Deadline. "But we continue to talk to folks and our goal is to have all content on there. Similar to the Peacock situation, we’re not always first. But we’ve got a very good idea of what the market is and how much value we can create. We’ve got the biggest, most engaged user base in the U.S., and so hopefully we can get a deal done."

Hang-ups with Roku and Fire TV were part of HBO's issue getting viewers to sign up for the Max platform's app, with only just 9 million of HBO's 29 million pay-TV subscribers who have free access to the streaming service using the app, AT&T CEO John Stankey said at an investor event over the summer, according to Media Play News. "We should ask ourselves, is that friction somebody…maybe having market power above and beyond what’s reasonable for innovators?" Stankey asked. "We still have work to do to educate and motivate the exclusively linear [HBO] subscriber base [about Max], and we’ll continue to work with our wholesale partners to drive these activation rates."