AT&T's (NYSE:T) HBO Max streaming service landed new distribution partners ahead of its May 27 launch.
In a press release, AT&T's WarnerMedia unit said Altice USA, Cox Communications, Samsung, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Verizon, and National Cable Television Cooperative will all distribute HBO Max. WarnerMedia has already inked distribution deals with AT&T, Apple, Charter, Google, Hulu, and YouTube TV.
With the addition of the new distribution partners, millions of customers will have access to HBO Max at its launch.
But what's still absent from its roster are Roku, Comcast, and Amazon Fire TV. Landing Roku is particularly important for HBO Max given that it's the leading streaming platform, boasting around 40 million active accounts. The same goes for Comcast, one of the country's biggest cable companies.
An HBO Max spokesperson told Variety it's in talks with Roku in hopes of reaching an agreement before the launch. The likelihood of HBO Max adding Amazon Fire TV as a distribution partner in the coming days is slim, noted Variety. HBO Max is going up against the likes of Netflix, Walt Disney's Disney+, and Amazon's Prime Video, boasting 10,000 hours of content. Coming in at $14.99 a month, it's the costliest of the streaming services.
Heading into the launch there were high expectations HBO Max would emerge as a formidable competitor, launching with a ton of new content including a much-awaited "Friends" reunion show. But the pandemic changed that, forcing the shutdown of production of movies and shows, pushing new original content out beyond the launch date.