Comcast has long been blocking HBO GO and Showtime content on Roku boxes, thanks mostly to an ongoing dispute between the two companies. But after several months of negotiation, it seems Comcast and Roku have finally agreed a deal that will change that.
An FCC filing spotted by Recode confirms that, “Comcast has, among other things, agreed to authenticate the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps on Roku video streaming devices.” So, if you’re a Comcast customer who subscribes to HBO or Showtime, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the content via your Roku box.
The real reason behind the block is a mystery; Comcast continues to allow HBO GO and Showtime content on other devices, such as the Apple TV. It’s only Roku’s devices that the company appeared to have a problem with, then — but fortunately for Roku users, not anymore.
The news comes just a day after Amazon announced that HBO GO is now available on Fire TV, and coming soon to the new Fire TV Stick. The deal will surely give Roku a better chance of competing with these devices — and indeed competing media streaming devices from the likes of Apple, Google, and those supporting Android TV.
What remains unclear for now is when the HBO Go and Showtime apps on Roku will become active for Comcast customers.