Warner Bros. Discovery Unveils Max Launch Date in France, ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Debut

Max is coming to France this summer.

Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed the launch date for its streaming service in Europe, saying it will start its European rollout on May 21, with Max to go live in France before the start of the Paris Olympics, which kick off in July.

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JB Perrette, WBD’s head of global streaming and games, made the announcement at the Series Mania TV festival in Lille, France on Thursday. He said the service in France, the biggest single territory outside the U.S. to receive Max, will roll out with basic, standard and premier tiers.

Max’s European offering will combine HBO and Discovery+ content and also include live-streamed and on-demand sports content from WBD’s Eurosport channel, including coverage of the Olympic Games and events such as Grand Slam tennis and cycling’s Tour de France.

WBD is already bulking up its French offerings, presenting an ambitious lineup of local-language scripted shows at Series Mania, including action-packed crime thriller Malditos, the psychological thriller Black Lies starring Laure Calamy (Call My Agent!) and an adaptation of Living With Our Deeds, the best-selling memoir of French Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur.

Highlighting Max’s big-budget slate, Perrette screened the world premiere of the trailer for upcoming The Batman series spin-off The Penguin, starring Colin Farrell and the two “dueling” trailers for season 2 of House of the Dragon. The second season of The Game of Thrones spin-off will premiere on June 16.

HBO shows used to air exclusively on French pay-TV service Canal+ before switching to competitor Orange. But that contract expired last year. (And Canal+ and Orange are no longer competitors: In January, Vivendi-owned Canal+ Group received conditional regulatory approval to acquire Orange’s film and TV unit Orange Studio and OCS.)

Max enters a crowded streaming market in France. The combined Canal+/Orange services reach about 11 million subscribers nationwide, on par with market leader Netflix. Amazon Prime, Disney+ and AppleTV+ all operate in the territory and Paramount+ is launching here later this month.

Outside the U.S., Max is currently available in Latin America and the Caribbean, but WBD will roll out its streaming service across 22 European countries that currently have HBO Max this spring. Max will land in the Nordics, Iberia, and Central and Eastern Europe on May 21, wirh launches in Poland, the Netherlands, France and Belgium to follow closely after.

Following its first European rollouts, WBD plans additional launches in key Asia Pacific territories in late 2024 and further territories in 2025.

“We are Warner Bros. are just getting started in streaming,” said Perrette, noting that Max is currently available in fewer than half the addressable global markets compared to the biggest streamers. “We expect to drive well past 50 percent over the course of the next few years.”

So far WBD has not given a specific date for its launch in the UK, Italy or Germany, where HBO has long-term content deals in place with Sky.

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