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HBO Max Announces Fall Launch for Nordic Nations; 2022 Launch in Central, Eastern Europe

One of North America’s biggest streaming services looks to strike it big in Europe.

Steve Anderson

There’s a lot of reason to like HBO Max. Whether it’s for the movies, the huge new connection to the DC Universe — animated or otherwise — or the various short-form shows, HBO Max is giving viewers plenty of reasons to show up and stick around. Now, HBO Max has extensive plans to bring its brand of spectacular entertainment to the shores of Europe, as it detailed its plans to go live throughout the content over the next several months.

The information was detailed during a Series Mania Forum keynote in Lille, France, on Tuesday afternoon.

The plan calls for a coastal assault first, with HBO Max set to arrive in Spain as well as in the Nordic region — commonly Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden — this fall. With fall only about three weeks out, this means the service could be hitting fairly soon.

Meanwhile, in 2022, customers in Portugal as well as the European interior — Central and Eastern Europe — will be set to get their shot at the service.

The UK has already had a connection to HBO Max for some time now thanks to distribution deals with British networks like Sky.

Some had projected delays for the launch, thanks to the recent rollout in Latin America that observers feared might slow European expansion plans. Word from Christina Sulebakk, general manager of HBO Max EMEA, made it clear that the Latin American rollout would do no such thing. Sulebakk also asserted that the overall plan was to “go global”, but this would be done incrementally, using what Sulebakk called “…a staggered approach.”

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for 9,99 $US and ad-free plan for 14,99 $US. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

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HBO Max will likely make quite a splash when it hits Europe. Granted, it will have much the same competitive profile that it had in North America, with Disney+ and Netflix in play.

HBO Max’s content, however, will feature multiple titles that can’t be found anywhere else, which will serve as the basis for a competitive advantage over the rest of the field. If HBO Max can maintain a solid price point — a concern that Sulebakk herself expressed, making it clearly front-and-center — then it’s likely to capture quite a bit of interest. That’s especially true as Europe finds itself increasingly under Covid-19-related lockdown once more amid growing case numbers.

While HBO Max won’t face Hulu and Paramount+ directly, the forthcoming launch of SkyShowtime in Europe in 2022 poses a new head-to-head competition and a curious question as to who will have the competitive advantage in terms of content.

Additionally, with the expected 2022 closure of the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery and the combination of streaming assets involved with HBO Max and Discovery+, the long-term competition between the two streaming giants when looking at their perches in a new European landscape will be unique, indeed.

HBO Max is likely to hit Europe with a load of new programming at a time when Europe is most likely to be interested in new things to stream. That suggests a good chance at landing a lot of customers early on. Whether or not it can keep the bulk of those customers remains to be seen, but HBO Max should be a winner when it does go live.

So, look for this one to go live in the next few months, European viewers, and brace yourself for a big slug of new content.

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