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How to Subscribe to HBO Max If Your Already Have HBO Go

It's confusing. Here's what you need to know.


Yesterday’s HBO Max launch is good news for fans of Friends and Sesame Street, but it’s also confusing news for everyone who already subscribes to some version of HBO.

Apart from their names, HBO, HBO Now, and HBO Go provide access to the premium cable channel’s library, and in many cases subscribing to them means you automatically have access to HBO Max, which includes the HBO library with classic and original titles exclusive to the new service.

It’s better, then, but if you’re an existing HBO subscriber, it can be hard to figure out if you already have access to HBO Max. Here’s what you need to know.

If you subscribe to HBO…

Through a regular cable or satellite provider, then you probably already have HBO Max. HBO struck a last-minute deal with Comcast on Wednesday, bringing it into the fold with the rest of the major companies. You can view the full list here.

Through an app store, then you already have access to HBO Max, assuming that store is either the Apple App Store, Google Play, or the Samsung TV app store.

Through a streaming live TV service that isn’t Sling. If you get HBO through Apple TV channels, Hulu Live, or YouTubeTV, then you’re all set.

Through Amazon Channels or the Roku store, then you do not have access to HBO Max, because these companies did not strike a deal with HBO. You can cancel your service and subscribe directly through the HBO Max website or app to gain access but, alas, you still can’t watch HBO Max on Amazon Fire or Roku devices.

If you subscribe to HBO Go…

This is something of a trick question, as HBO Go is simply how HBO subscribers can access HBO content through streaming devices. So if you normally use HBO Go, then you must have HBO, which means you can find your answer in the section above.

If you subscribe to HBO Now…

You have HBO Max. This one is actually pretty simple.

If you don’t subscribe to HBO, HBO GO, or HBO Now…

You still might get free access to HBO Max through your phone or internet plan.