With so many streaming services already established and readily available to us here in Ireland, it's a little overwhelming to hear that yet another one could be joining the party very soon; but not for another few years at least.
Unlike a lot of territories across Europe later this year and in early 2022, HBO Max will not be launching in Ireland anytime soon.
Since launching in the US in May 2020, the HBO streaming service has proven to be very popular amongst users and has so far expanded into 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean. Now it has set its sights on launching in a number of European countries including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Spain on October 26. 14 additional territories across the continent will get the service in 2022.
However, HBO Max will not have Ireland, the UK, Germany or Italy on their list just yet, as Sky currently has a deal with the production company in these countries. The deal runs through to 2025, and was struck before HBO Max was joined by WarnerMedia for the distribution of their blockbuster releases. According to sources, executives at HBO are looking to negotiate out of the Sky deal as soon as possible, preparing the service to launch in these four streaming-heavy territories.
So in essence, HBO Max isn't coming to Ireland - for now. Should the service and Sky not strike a future deal, it will more than likely see the service arrive on our shores over the next few years. This will mean it will join Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ as one of the biggest streaming services on offer here.
As well as boasting an impressive back catalogue of classics such as 'Friends', 'Harry Potter' and 'Sex and the City', HBO Max also features a number of brand new releases such as 'Mare of Easttown', the 'Gossip Girl' reboot and 'The Suicide Squad'.
Hulu is another streaming service that is poised to land in Ireland at some point in the foreseeable future; however, this too remains unclear at the moment. The Walt Disney Company is the owner of the service, and with Disney+ still a relatively new arrival in Europe, they might not want to launch just yet. At the moment, a lot of the Hulu releases are available to watch via Star on Disney+ (except for some, which get shopped around), which focus on much more adult-orientated content than the rest of the Disney+ catalogue. It will be interesting to see if Hulu does ever launch in Europe - Disney+ might not want to lose its subscribers.