HBO Max To Launch In Nordics & Spain In Fall, With Portugal, Central & Eastern Europe To Follow In 2022

HBO Max will begin its launch in the Nordics and Spain this fall, with plans to rollout in Central & Eastern Europe and Portugal next year. The news was revealed at a Series Mania Forum keynote conversation on Tuesday afternoon.

Priya Dogra, president of WarnerMedia Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia (excluding China) and Christina Sulebakk, general manager of HBO Max EMEA delivered the news at the TV festival in Lille, France.

In June, WarnerMedia lit up its streaming service HBO Max in 39 territories across Latin American and the Caribbean, marking the first international presence for the streaming service.

It was expected that European territories like Spain, Portugal, Central Europe and the Nordics would join the footprint later this year, although there had been recent speculations of delays of the launch.

In some key markets like the UK, HBO already has long-term distribution deals with Sky and other partners that preclude the launch of HBO Max.

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“Yes, we are coming to Europe this year,” said Sulebakk today. “I know there has been speculation of delays due to our massive launch in LatAm earlier but we will be launching in the Nordic region and Spain this fall and then we are going to be expanding also to Central and Eastern Europe and to Portugal next year.”

She added: “The plan is of course to go global…but we will do that in a staggered approach. We’re looking into new market launches when appropriate when we think we have the good offer to bring consumers in market.”

“Europe is a huge priority for us,” said Dogra. “We now have the U.S. and LatAm under our belt. We feel very good about those successes there and the growth that we’re seeing. Europe is a complicated market, but it’s an exciting one.”

Sulebakk added that the company wanted to have “more voices and more stories” and that the company wanted to “offer consumers a very competitive price point and very flexible way of accessing our products, both through D2C but also through our very established wholesale distribution partners in the region.”

Copenhagen-based exec Sulebakk was appointed general manager of HBO Max EMEA in January this year. She’s responsible for existing HBO streaming services in Europe and for the launch for HBO Max in the region this year and it’s future expansion.

She joined parent company WarnerMedia in 2012 to launch and establish HBO Nordic, HBO’s first streaming service outside of the U.S. Since then, she’s been involved in the move of HBO’s Central European business into streaming, the launch of HBO Espana in 2016, HBO Portugal in 2019 and the strategy for HBO Max in Latin America.

Dogra was promoted to her current role in July 2020 and is a big champion of diverse storytelling from different voices across all territories.