AT&T and Roku are reportedly on the verge of a deal to bring HBO Max to the streaming platform.
The WarnerMedia streamer was conspicuously absent from Amazon and Roku devices when it launched in May. Following a deal with Amazon announced this week, media news outlet The Desk claims that the operator is close to announcing a similar partnership with Roku.
The apparent grievance between WarnerMedia and those platforms was that the operator did not want to be railroaded into exclusively being offered via Amazon and Roku’s respective channel platforms. This has been perceived by Warner as a double standard, with the likes of Netflix and Disney not being forced to follow a similar rule.
Back in August, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said that “Amazon has taken an approach of treating HBO Max and its customers differently on how they’ve chosen to treat other services and their customers.”
However, having come to an agreement with Amazon that will see HBO Max available via Prime Video Channels, it stands to reason that the company would be willing to reach a similar arrangement with Roku.
With Roku recently reaching 46 million monthly active users, it is arguably an unignorable platform for any streaming platform that has aspirations to be a major player, and it appeared that it was only a matter of time before WarnerMedia came to a similar deal as NBCUniversal reached for Peacock.
The report, combined with a ringing endorsement from industry veteran John Malone, saw Roku shares skyrocket by more than 10% for the day to a new record high of US$255.67.
In a note to clients, Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak was bullish on the firm and raised his rating from ‘sell’ to ‘hold’, while raising his price target on shares to US$240 by the end of 2021.
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