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Comcast lifts ban on HBO, Showtime streaming via Roku

After years of mysteriously excluding Roku from the list of devices that can stream the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps to its subscribers, Comcast relents.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier

Roku, our favorite streaming platform, just got even better. Sarah Tew

Welcome to the 21st century, Comcast subscribers.

The nation's largest cable company announced that it will finally allow its customers to activate their HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps via the Roku platform.

The Xfinity authentication page is now live on HBO Go's activation site (see screenshot below).

HBO Go's activation page now includes an option for Comcast's Xfinity service. Screenshot by David Katzmaier

The announcement follows negotiations of "several months" between the two companies, and resulted in an agreement reached November 25, according to a Roku lawyer in an FCC filing Monday.

Comcast subscribers have long had access to HBO Go and Showtime Anytime via other devices, like Apple TV, Xbox and Chromecast, but until today Roku devices were excluded.

Yesterday, HBO Go became available to Amazon Fire TV devices, but as of right now Comcast subscribers still cannot activate that app or Showtime Anytime. Negotiations are said to be ongoing.