Bringing an end to a months-long standoff, AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Amazon have reached a deal to make the HBO Max streaming service available on Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire HD devices, as well as Fire TV Edition smart TVs. The service had been unavailable on Amazon platforms since it launched in May.
It’s not clear exactly what the terms of the agreement were, but it has now been reached, and HBO Max will become available to Amazon users starting on Tuesday.
“We are very excited that Amazon customers will now be able to enjoy the best-in-class content that lives within HBO Max,” Tony Goncalves, Head of Sales and Distribution for WarnerMedia, said in the announcement of the deal. “Our continued goal is to make HBO Max and its unparalleled content available to customers across all the devices they love. Fire TV is a favorite among customers and we look forward to working with the Amazon team to engage and grow our existing subscriber base by showcasing all that HBO Max has to offer.”
“We’ve worked closely with HBO for many years to bring their great content to Fire TV and to make it easier to discover and enjoy with features like search integration, Alexa and personalized recommendations,” Marc Whitten, Vice President of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services, said in the same statement. “We are excited to continue that partnership with the launch of HBO Max to bring even more incredible content to customers on Fire TV. Alexa, play Raised by Wolves.”
HBO Max remains unavailable on the Roku platform, although various workarounds are available, including using the AirPlay functionality that is now available on several Roku devices. Some Roku users also watch HBO Max through a Chromecast device, or through video game consoles.
The lack of HBO Max on Amazon devices has emerged over the last few months as a point of contention. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was even asked about it when he testified before Congress in late July, with Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland asking whether Amazon’s posture in negotiations was an example of unfair practices.
“I predict that the companies will eventually come to an agreement, and I think this is kind of two large companies negotiating agreements—kind of normal commerce,” Bezos replied, after stating that he wasn’t personally familiar with the status of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the head of WarnerMedia, Jason Kilar, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in August that anyone wondering why HBO Max wasn’t yet on Amazon should “call the Seattle folks” (Amazon is based in Seattle.) He also expressed optimism that a deal with Amazon would eventually be reached.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters