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.