HBO launches Max streaming service in Europe, but not in the UK

Mike Wheatley

Warner Bros Discovery is bringing its popular streaming service Max to Europe, beginning in May. It’s launching in the Nordics, Portugal, Spain and several central and eastern European countries, and will come to France, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands later in the year, but the U.K. is likely to miss out.


The company said Max will kick off in Europe on May 21, with a choice of three subscriptions available that will enable them to access a selection of TV shows, live sports and movies, including the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

The cheapest tier is Basic with Ads, which provides Full HD resolution streaming for up to two devices simultaneously, with occasional ad breaks in content. The next tier is the Standard offering, which enables Full HD streaming without ads on two devices, plus the ability to download and save 30 titles for offline viewing. Finally, the top tier is the Premium subscription, which provides streaming in 4K resolution with Dolby Atmos surround sound added to the mix, on up to four devices at once. Premium subscribers will be able to download up to 100 titles for offline viewing.

In addition, subscribers to all three tiers can pay for the Sports add-on, which gives them access to live sports such as the tennis Grand Slam, 24 Hours Le Mans racing, the cycling Grand Tour and the aforementioned Olympics Games.

It’s noticeable that the U.K. is completely absent from the list of countries that will be getting the service. That’s because HBO, the creator of Max, has signed an exclusivity agreement with Sky that runs until 2026, meaning that its content is only available on either Sky or Now TV. So if you want to watch shows like House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, True Detection and Succession, you’ll have to pay for a Sky or Now TV subscription instead.

We should note that the deal with Sky will expire in 2026, and depending on how successful Max is, we may well see the service launch in the U.K. at that point.