Mad About Max

Kiwi fans of HBO content can only drool at the prospect of what US subscribers are about to enjoy with the relaunch of HBO Max as Max: 40 new titles every month, many in 4K-UHD with Dolby Atmos audio.

In this territory, HBO shows are limited to HD on Sky’s linear channels and its streaming platform Neon. And even with imminent launch of the “transformative” Sky box and Sky Pod streaming device, there are no plans to upgrade this.

While global streamers offer an expanding range of 4K/Atmos content, NZ players like Neon, TVNZ+ and ThreeNow continue to underwhelm with their specs.

Max is even promising a new video-playback experience to deliver “smooth and cinematic video”.

How long Sky will retain its HBO monopoly is unclear but expect it to be the home of HBO well into next year if not 2025 — despite Warner Bros. Discovery now having its own operation here.

The latter is likely to focus on providing a suite of FAST channels and more Discovery+ streaming until it can turn itself into a Kiwi Max.

“While much has been revealed about the US service, little detail has emerged around international plans,” European trade paper TBI reports.

WBD has previously said Max is set to roll out in the Latin America later this year, with the combined service targeting Europe and Asia in 2024, although there were no new details today.

TBI has previously reported that plans for Discovery+ in EMEA are being assessed by WBD on a market-by-market basis, where it is likely to remain in countries covered by the media giant’s output deal with Sky, including the UK, Germany and Italy.

The pay TV giant also has an output deal for HBO content, as do other major pay operators such as Foxtel in Australia. The latter extended its deal earlier this year, highlighting WBDs shifting stance from pure exclusivity. However, details of WBD’s deal, including length, have not been revealed.

When Max, a combination of HBO Max and Discovery+ content, launches May 23 in the US, there will be ad- and premium subscriptions ranging from $US10-$US20 a month.

The service will average more than 40 new titles and TV show seasons every month, including Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, True Detective and Harry Potter spin-offs.

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3 Responses to “Mad About Max”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    April 13, 2023 at 8:12 am

    I think the deal with Sky ends this year and as there has been no extension to the deal it makes sense for Max to come to New Zealand this year or 2024, that’s what I think anyway 🤔

  2. Let’s hope so, Trevor, but WBD already has said it won’t be rolling out its own streaming service in the Asia-Pacific until the second half of 2024.

  3. Yes, I just read that on NewsHub. It’s looking like 2024 😁

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