As of today, Roku has plugged a major hole in the premium network subscription package it started offering in January, whereby users can sign up for popular channels like Showtime and Starz through The Roku Channel that had already been offering movies, TV shows and live news.
In what will no doubt be welcome news for Game of Thrones fans who’ve been counting down the days before the April 14 premiere of the final season of the epic fantasy series, you can now sign up for HBO via Premium Subscriptions on The Roku Channel.
HBO thus joins more than 25 popular premium subscriptions likewise available through Roku’s offering, which will let users trial HBO for free for seven days. After that, subscribers will be charged $14.99 per month.
Rob Homes, Roku vice president of programming and engagement, said the value proposition here is that The Roku Channel delivers “a single destination” through which users can discover free, ad-supported and premium entertainment content, from popular sources like HBO and elsewhere. This news means Roku users through The Roku Channel will have access to all of HBO’s original series in their entirety, plus movies, documentaries, live programming and more from the cable network. Related to this announcement, Cinemax — which is owned by the same corporate parent as HBO — is also coming soon to The Roku Channel premium subscriptions.
This news may be especially welcome news to Dish customers, for whom HBO has been inaccessible for months and remains so. A contract dispute has kept HBO “blacked out” from Dish for five months now, and many have no doubt been looking for new streaming options — or taking this opportunity to get out of their cable subscription altogether. In a statement released as part of today’s announcement, HBO senior vice president for Worldwide Digital Distribution and New Business Development Jeff Dallesandro noted that “Just in time, The Roku Channel users will have a chance to watch the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ on their favorite platform.”
You can browse all content available without needing a subscription. Once you’re ready to actually do so, you can do an easy “one-click” sign-up and manage your subscriptions through the My Account section at Roku.com. The Roku Channel provides access to more than 10,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes in addition to the premium subscription offering.