The HBO Max streaming service will launch in Europe, Warner Bros has revealed, but that doesn’t mean Brits are imminently in line for a host of brand new Hollywood movies.
Following the announcement that all of Warner’s 2021 theatrical releases will land on HBO Max simultaneously, the company has revealed plans to expand the HBO Max service worldwide.
The company says the expansion will begin in Europe and Latin America in the second half of next year. However, that expansion will involve upgrading the existing direct-to-consumer offerings to HBO Max.
A Silicon Republic report brings word from the Web Summit where HBO announced its intention to bring some HBO Max-specific content along with the update. However, given the UK doesn’t have a HBO platform directly available to customers, there won’t be an upgrade to speak of.
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Instead, HBO sells the rights to its shows directly to UK broadcasters, namely Sky, which has brought hit shows like Game of Thrones to our screens. Eventually, as contracts come to an end, we would imagine this arrangement will cease and HBO will choose to plant its own flag in the UK.
Eventually, the company plans to bring HBO Max to 190 countries. “It’s just a matter of how fast we can do that,” said Andy Forssell, head of HBO Max Global, at the Web Summit.
HBO sent shockwaves through the movie industry earlier this week by announcing plans to bring all 17 of its planned cinema releases in 2021 to HBO Max at the same time. That includes the likes of The Matrix 4, Tom & Jerry, The Suicide Squad and Dune.
However, HBO says this will be a temporary measure, given the pandemic is likely to restrict cinema attendance once again in 2021. However, once that genie is out of the bottle, and movie fans can enjoy first run movies from the comfort of their couches, it’s unclear whether things will ever go back to normal.