Services & Software

One week after launch, HBO Max still missing from Roku, Amazon Fire TV

The massive new service is still unavailable on two of the biggest TV streaming platforms.

Roku and Amazon users will not able to join in on HBO Max's big day. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

HBO Max made its long-awaited debut last week, but you still can't watch The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo or reruns of Friends via your Roku or Fire TV. That's because those popular devices remain without HBO Max apps.

Despite being available on a host of platforms and devices -- including iOS and Android, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and web browsers -- HBO's parent company AT&T has not yet reached an agreement with Roku or Amazon. This means that even if you have the HBO Go or HBO Now app on your Roku or Fire TV, or if your HBO subscription was upgraded to Max, you won't be able to watch HBO Max on there.

HBO Now and Go users should still be able to use those respective apps to continue watching the regular HBO they already have.

As of June 3, the apps were still missing on both Roku and Amazon's respective platforms. Neither company had an update on when HBO Max would be available for their platform when contacted on June 3. WarnerMedia, the AT&T division responsible for HBO Max, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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In a statement on May 27, a Roku spokesman said the company still hopes to add HBO Max:

As the No. 1 streaming platform in the US we believe that HBO Max would benefit greatly from the scale and content marketing capabilities available with distribution on our platform. We are focused on mutually positive distribution agreements with all new (over-the-top) services that will deliver a quality user experience to viewers in the more than 40 million households that choose Roku to access their favorite programs and discover new content.

Unfortunately we haven't reached agreement yet with HBO Max. While not on our platform today, we look forward to helping HBO Max in the future successfully scale their streaming business.

Read more: HBO Max vs. HBO Now vs. HBO Go: What's the difference, how do you upgrade?

Amazon was a bit more aggressive. In its statement on May 27, the company indicated that it's upset that AT&T isn't just adding Max's content to the regular HBO offering that's available through Amazon's Prime Video Channels: 

With a seamless customer experience, nearly 5 million HBO streamers currently access their subscription through Amazon's Prime Video Channels. Unfortunately, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T is choosing to deny these loyal HBO customers access to the expanded catalog.

We believe that if you're paying for HBO, you're entitled to the new programming through the method you're already using. That's just good customer service and that's a priority for us.

For its part, a spokeswoman for AT&T's WarnerMedia said in a statement last week that while the company is "thrilled that HBO Max is widely available at launch" its "goal is to make HBO Max available on every platform possible to as many viewers globally as possible."

"We look forward to reaching agreements with the few outstanding distribution partners left," she added, "including with Amazon and on par with how they provide customers access to Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu on Fire devices."

Last week WarnerMedia executives said that the company has apps ready for both Roku and Fire TV, adding that once deals are signed each app can be on their respective platform "minutes later." 

Read more: HBO Max is a free upgrade for millions of subscribers. Are you one of them?