Shares of Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) jumped Thursday morning after the company announced a long-awaited deal with AT&T (NYSE:T). As of 10:30 a.m., shares were up 7%, slightly below the all-time high hit at the market open today.
Roku said Wednesday night that AT&T's HBO Max will launch on Roku streaming devices starting today. HBO Max launched in May, and Roku was the only remaining streaming platform not to offer it.
The timing of the agreement may not be a coincidence. While HBO Max has been available on other platforms such as Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire TV prior to this month, AT&T's WarnerMedia is releasing its highly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 both in theaters and on HBO Max beginning on Christmas Day.
WarnerMedia had previously announced that it will release its entire slate of 2021 movies simultaneously in theaters and for streaming on HBO Max. So a deal with Roku is crucial to maximize the potential audience for its upcoming movies.
As of its third quarter, Roku had 46 million active accounts. But WarnerMedia has only activated slightly below 13 million accounts for HBO Max. Access to Roku customers will likely boost HBO Max subscriber numbers.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. It's not surprising that one was reached, and should turn out to be a win for both companies.