WarnerMedia has revealed that Warner Bros. movies will be available on its HBO Max SVOD service just 45 days after their theatrical release, all within the standard cost of the direct-to-consumer streaming offer – a game-changing adjustment to windowing, according to Christina Sulebakk, General Manager, HBO Max EMEA. HBO Max begins its European roll-out on October 26 and the 45-day movie SVOD window comes into effect this year in the Nordics and next year in Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Greece, Iceland and CEE.
Warner Media wants HBO Max in 190 territories by 2026, although there is no word on when the UK, Germany, France or Italy will be lit up. HBO Max will roll out in Europe on a new, global technology platform and the first European pricing has been announced. In Sweden and Norway, the service will cost 89 Kr for a monthly subscription or 699 Kr for an annual subscription. The cost is 79 Kr and 599 Kr respectively in Denmark. In Finland and Spain, the service will cost €8.99 a month or €69.99 for an annual pass.
A launch schedule for 27 European territories has now been announced. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra start streaming on October 26. Portugal and CEE countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia) had already been announced for 2022. Another seven territories have been added to the 2022 schedule, namely the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. HBO Max will be in 67 countries once all these European launches are complete.
HBO Max replaces existing HBO-branded streaming services in 20 territories in the Nordics, Spain, Portugal and Central and Eastern Europe and will be available to both new customers as well as existing customers, billed either directly or via eligible partners. The service features WarnerMedia’s popular content brands including Warner Bros., HBO, DC and Cartoon Network. There will be U.S. and international ‘Max Originals’, all in one place for the first time in Europe. Each of these brands will be housed in their own ‘hub’.
A teaser for the new service features Sarah Jessica Parker promoting And Just Like That, which is the next chapter of Sex and the City. A reboot of Gossip Girl is another Max Original and there will be new unscripted content including reality TV. But the back catalogue is where things get impressive, with an HBO collection that spans Game of Thrones (which will include Game of Thrones: House of Dragon, which arrives in 2022), The Sopranos, The Wire and Mare of Easttown. One hundred years of Warner Bros. movies include Harry Potter, Godzilla vs. Kong, Dunkirk, The Lord of the Rings, The Shining and A Clockwork Orange. There are DC movies like The Joker, Wonder Woman 1984, Aquaman, Batman v Superman, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And the company is promising “an unmatched collection of kids animation” that includes Warner Bros. classics like Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry.
In a classic example of how direct-to-consumer gives power to producers, HBO Max will include Friends, The Big Bang Theory and ER – shows that made their names on network (broadcast) television but which were produced for them by Warner Bros. Television.
Christina Sulebakk declares: “We have been entertaining fans in Europe since our first HBO TV channel launched in Hungary back in 1991 – and have been streaming on the continent for more than a decade with our HBO branded streaming services. HBO Max will take this to another level, offering an enhanced viewing experience and a much broader content line-up, for all the family, at a very attractive price point.”