Pressure builds on Roku with Wonder Woman, Godzilla, King Kong and The Matrix
Wonder Woman didn't make Roku blink.
Will Godzilla, King Kong, the gang from "The Matrix" and "Mortal Kombat" do the trick?
In an unprecedented move for a major movie studio, AT&T owned Warner Bros. said it would release every one of its first-run theatrical films next year in theaters and on its HBO Max streaming service.
The move begins on Christmas Day with the previously announced "Wonder Woman 1984" sequel, and will be followed with sequels to "The Matrix" and Godzilla and a film based on the "Mortal Kombat."
This is seen as a move by AT&T to exert additional pressure on Roku, the streaming platform that has declined to carry HBO Max since it debuted in May. NBC Universal owner Comcast tried something similar in September, when it threatened to yank all of its channels (which includes Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC) if Roku didn't start carrying its new Peacock.
Streaming platforms: TV Answer Man blog. "But I wouldn't say it's a guarantee. Roku still has a lot of leverage. AT&T needs Roku a lot more than Roku needs AT&T."
While the move by Warner Bros. is unprecedented in day and date streaming, many of the films on the slate won't be out for some time, "so besides 'Wonder Woman,' it's not like these films are on people's minds," he adds.
Roku pioneered streaming, originally as a division of Netflix before breaking off in 2008 and sells popular streaming players that connect TV viewers to internet programming. Roku, says Swann, "is a God," in the streaming world that just dominates sales.
Not being on the Roku platform has limited HBO Max's growth, as it represents 40% of the market.
"Roku has thousands of channels available," Swann says. "It doesn't need HBO. What people love about it is they bring it 真人百家家乐官网网站home, connect the device to the HDMI on the back of the TV, and there's all those channels to watch, many of them for free."
Rival Amazon also serves the streaming audience with its Fire TV Streaming Stick product, which the company regularly touts as one of its most popular products. Amazon cut a deal with HBO in November to add the service to the Fire TV platform.
AT&T's foray into television has been rocky. It paid $49 billion for the DirecTV satellite service in 2015, only to see it bleed subscribers. The company is said to be seeking buyers for DirecTV.
So with HBO Max and the first-run films from Warner Bros. "this is AT&T at the casino, cashing their DirecTV chips and putting them all down on HBO Max, doing whatever it can to make it a success."
Roku had no comment.
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