HBO Max will launch in Europe on October 26, but there's a twist

HBO Max Review 2020
HBO Max Review 2020 (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe/iMore)

What you need to know

  • HBO Max will launch in Europe on October 26.
  • The launch countries might not be the ones you expect, with the UK and Germany potentially never seeing a launch.
  • Six countries will go live next month with 14 more going online next year.

The HBO Max streaming service will go live in six European countries on October 26, HBO has confirmed. A further 14 countries will get the service next year while two, in particular, might never get it at all.

Starting with the good news, HBO told Variety that the following countries will all get HBO Max on launch day next month; Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, and Andorra. A further 14 will see HBO Max arrive at some point in 2022, with those including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. That leaves some big countries out in the cold.

Two of those countries, the UK and Germany, might never get HBO Max at all. The reason, the report notes, is licensing. And HBO already has deals with other carriers in those countries.

The delay comes down to WarnerMedia's lucrative output deals in place with other partners in these countries, which sees popular HBO programming available on services such as Sky Atlantic and Now TV. Of course, it's not just the output deals holding back the U.K. and Germany launches — the technology and product offering also needs to be in a competitive place.

That'll be a disappointment for streaming fans in those two countries, for sure. But it's a great example of how complicated the world of TV show and movie licensing is, even when you own the content you want to stream.

Of course, those in the United States already have HBO Max and while its Apple TV app is lacking, it still offers some great content. If you want to enjoy HBO Max in style, be sure to check out our list of the Best Apple TV deals on the market today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.