HBO Max Is Now on Roku. Thanks, Wonder Woman!

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The Monitor is a weekly column dedicated to every thing taking place within the WIRED world of tradition, from motion pictures to memes, TV to Twitter.

Earlier this week, I typed the next in a second of new-media pique:

Look, to not sound petty (this sounds petty), however I simply need to watch Friends. And The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hell, perhaps even Zack Snyder’s lower of Justice League, if that ever comes out. But proper now, I can’t. Why? Because each of my televisions use Roku streaming units, and, as has been the case since its launch, HBO Max—the place the place that programming lives—isn’t obtainable on Roku. It’s simply … not there. One day HBO Go simply Keyser Söze-d out of my life and nothing confirmed as much as substitute it. My HBO streaming choice was gone, and it took my spontaneous Sex and the City marathons with it. Thank fuck I personal Deadwood on DVD.

As usually occurs in journalism, although, that story stopped being a narrative earlier than I may smash the Publish button. That’s as a result of on Wednesday, Roku and WarnerMedia introduced they’d lastly come to an settlement to host HBO Max on Roku units.

The transfer comes almost six months after the streaming service’s launch. That could not look like very a lot time within the lengthy arc of historical past, however throughout a pandemic that has left folks caught at dwelling craving new content material to stream, it is an eternity. It additionally comes after WarnerMedia had made offers to place HBO Max on almost each different machine, together with the PlayStation 5. Even Amazon and WarnerMedia, which had been with no deal for greater than 5 months, lastly made an settlement to place the streaming service on Fire TV units in November. And whereas, with all these units already lined up, it could look like Roku’s absence is not a giant deal, please keep in mind that Roku dominates almost half of the related TV market.

But now all of us have HBO Max. Hooray! You most likely have Wonder Woman to thank for that. Earlier this yr, Warner Bros. announced it might launch Wonder Woman 1984 on the streaming service on December 25, and though the finer factors of the deal weren’t disclosed, studies indicated that WarnerMedia wished to safe the Roku piece of the HBO Max puzzle earlier than that date. It additionally appears doable the corporate wished to lock within the deal earlier than the beginning of 2021, throughout which Warner Bros. shall be releasing its complete slate of movies—together with extremely anticipated movies like Dune and The Matrix 4—on HBO Max the identical day they hit (a restricted variety of) theaters.

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