Roku And Comcast Finally Make Nice, Will Allow HBO Go And Showtime Apps

hbograbA personal anecdote, if you’ll allow… A few years back, I — ever a good son — bought my mother a Roku box for her TV (that I’d also bought her), only to find out that she, like millions of other Comcast subscribers, was not allowed to access the device’s HBO Go app because she’s a Comcast customer. But those darks days are coming to an end, now that Kabletown and Roku are suddenly buddies.

UPDATE: Comcast has officially confirmed the Roku deal, saying that customers should now be able to access the HBO and Showtime apps on their Roku devices.

This is according to an FCC filing [PDF] from yesterday, in which an attorney for Roku tells the Commission that, as of Nov. 25, Comcast and Roku had concluded “several months” of negotiations “regarding a number of issues” and that Comcast had — among other, unspecified items — agreed to allow Comcast users to log into the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps on their Roku devices.

The letter makes no mention of specific dates and Comcast isn’t commenting on this story at the moment, but we’re hearing that more information is forthcoming as early as today.

Sources also tell Consumerist that while Comcast is not currently authenticating HBO Go and other apps on the Amazon Fire TV devices, it is actively negotiating with Amazon to make this happen.

So why the rush? A) Comcast needs to do anything it can to look good to consumers and, more importantly, to the federal regulators that are reviewing its deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. And B) Time Warner Cable already allows its customers to access these apps online, and if Comcast is going to take on those millions of customers, it can’t suddenly say “no more HBO Go for you” to everyone in the major markets — NYC, L.A. and Dallas — that it will dominate post-merge.

[via Recode]

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