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Why can’t I get HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Prime? Your questions, answered

Emilia Clarke appears in a scene from "Game of Thrones."
(Macall B. Polay / HBO)

AT&T’s entertainment company, WarnerMedia, joins the streaming wars with HBO Max, a blend of HBO, Warner Bros. and original programming:

Where do I get HBO Max?
You can subscribe online to HBO Max.

How much is it?
HBO Max is $14.99 a month. For some AT&T customers who have premium plans, HBO Max will be included with their wireless, broadband or pay-TV subscriptions.

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Do I have to sign a contract?
No.

Will my HBO subscription automatically switch to HBO Max?
HBO Now subscribers who get their bills through HBO, Apple and Google Play will get instant access to HBO Max. (Amazon Prime won’t have HBO Max at launch, but will still offer HBO Now).

Why can’t I get HBO Max on Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fire or Roku?
HBO Max’s parent company, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, and Amazon haven’t reached an agreement for distribution of HBO Max. More than 5 million consumers currently receive HBO Now as a channel available through Amazon Prime Video, and those subscriptions will remain unchanged. Amazon would like to strike a similar arrangement for HBO Max, but WarnerMedia balked.

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AT&T wants to nurture a direct relationship with consumers of its new product rather than cede that control to Amazon, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Similarly, WarnerMedia does not yet have a deal with Roku to provide HBO Max to Roku users.

Will other providers offer HBO Max?
Yes, several companies, including Charter Spectrum, Cox Communications, Verizon Fios, Altice Optimum, YouTube TV, Google Play, Samsung TV and Apple TV will also offer HBO Max for a fee. Comcast and WarnerMedia announced a deal to bring HBO Max to Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. Xfinity customers who currently subscribe to HBO will be offered HBO Max at no additional cost, beginning Wednesday.

Why are there so many HBO-branded products?
Over the years, there have been various iterations to respond to shifts in viewing behavior. For example:

HBO, the premium TV channel, launched in 1972 and was available to pay-TV customers.

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HBO Go launched in 2010 to give customers of pay-TV and Amazon Prime the option of accessing HBO shows on smart TVs and mobile devices.

HBO Now debuted in 2015 as a stand-alone streaming service with HBO series, specials and movies. It targeted subscribers who had high-speed internet but not a pay-TV package.

HBO Max also is a streaming platform but with more content10,000 hours of content from HBO, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, DC, TBS, Cartoon Network and Max Originals.

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