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WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service will launch in 15 additional European countries on March 8, including Portugal and the Netherlands.
Following the rollout of the streamer in the Nordics and Spain in late October, the next 15 countries will be: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
“HBO Max is currently live in 46 territories across the Americas and Europe, with that rising to 61 with these launches,” the company said on Tuesday. Later this year, it plans to expand to a further six European countries, including Greece and Turkey.
Executives at WarnerMedia, owned by telecom giant AT&T, which is planning to close the merger of its entertainment unit with Discovery in the second quarter, have touted international territories as a key growth driver for HBO Max. HBO Max and HBO ended 2021 with 73.8 million subscribers, exceeding the company’s target range of 70-73 million. This marked an increase of more than 13 million subscribers for the full year 2021, including almost 8 million users outside the U.S.
“HBO Max is a new streaming experience offering the very best entertainment, movies, original series and kids programming from Warner Bros., HBO, DC, Cartoon Network, Max originals and more,” said Christina Sulebakk, general manager of HBO Max Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The streamer highlighted that its offering in the new markets will include Warner Bros. movies just 45 days after their theatrical release. ”Top Warner Bros. films that will be available include The Matrix Resurrections, Dune, King Richard, The Suicide Squad and Tom and Jerry,” it noted and posted an online sizzle reel. “New Max originals include Station Eleven, Peacemaker, Raised by Wolves season two and The Sex Lives of College Girls. European Max originals coming to the platform include Todo Lo Otro, Kamikaze, Lust, Ruxx, The Thaw, The Informant and Garcia!“
“The global rollout of HBO Max continues at pace,” said Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International. “We are delivering on our strategy to go direct-to-consumer around the world, which coupled with our beloved content will give us the scale needed to be one of the top global streaming platforms.”
The Netherlands launch will give the brand a direct consumer presence in the country on its own. HBO Nederland launched there in 2012 as a joint venture between HBO and Dutch pay TV giant Ziggo. But the venture shut down at the end of 2016, with Ziggo taking the licenses to HBO content for the market. “Now we are launching our own service there with HBO Max,” Sulebakk tells The Hollywood Reporter. Pricing and other strategies will be unveiled there soon, but Sulebakk promises “a very attractive price point and a very strong slate.”
In the Central and Eastern European countries, where HBO Max will replace HBO Go, while linear HBO channels will continue, in Portugal the launch will come with special pricing promotions. They will offer all existing HBO subscribers more than 30 percent off the monthly price for the lifetime of their subscription, and give new customers a limited time to sign up for the same discount. In Portugal, for example, the monthly subscription for HBO Portugal currently costs €4.99 ($5.55) a month. HBO Max will be priced at €5.99 ($6.67) per month, with the discounted rate being €3.99 ($4.44).
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