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HBO Max coming to Europe soon, but don’t get too excited

Warner Media has confirmed the HBO Max streaming service is coming to Europe later this year, but unfortunately, the UK does not appear to be in the frame.

As part of its first expansion of HBO Max since its launch in 2020, the company is planning to bring “HBO-branded” services into Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean during 2021.

On our side of the pond, HBO says the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal will be among the areas to receive the update later this year. HBO is already available as a service in many of the countries mentioned today, but it seems the new HBO Max service and the extended programming that comes with it, is now ready to roll out.

The chances of a UK launch of HBO Max appear too be limited right now, thanks to a long-running licensing agreement with Sky TV. Sky Atlantic has long been the place to watch the top HBO shows, like Game of Thrones, Raised By Wolves, Euphoria and Succession, as well as legacy classics like The Wire and The Sopranos.

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However, a lot of the wider HBO Max programming and movies is missing from Sky’s offerings right now. The likes of South Park, Rick & Morty, Friends and the HBO Max original series The Flight Attendant.

In 2019, Sky and HBO renewed their agreement for a further five years. That also gives Sky the rights to first-run Warner Bros. movies. As part of the deal, Sky is said to be co-producing some of the shows planned for HBO Max originals.

So, it’ll be 2024 at the earliest before this deal expires and the chances are, if both sides remain happy, that Sky and HBO will continue to work together for years to come. That means no HBO Max for Brits as a service, but Sky customers will continue to receive all of the best TV shows and movies moving forward.