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HBO Max is continuing a steady roll-out in Europe with its second wave of countries.

The WarnerMedia-owned streaming service is launching in an additional 15 nations on March 8, this time targeting Central and Eastern Europe. This covers Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Christina Sulebakk, general manager for HBO Max EMEA, says it has been a “cautious choice” to get the markets launched in Europe, where the HBO Max roll-out began in earnest in October with launches in the Nordics (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland) as well as Spain and Andorra.

Those countries were obvious choices as the company had solid streaming customer bases that were already familiar with HBO Nordic and HBO España VOD services. “[We had to] make sure we could migrate over that customer base and get them on HBO Max first,” says Sulebakk.

Similarly, HBO has been operating different brands (HBO Portugal and HBO Go) in Central and Eastern Europe, too, meaning it’s preparing for another migration to HBO Max.

Asked about learnings from its early European launches, Sulebakk says the customer base has “highly engaged” with the service’s new user interface and branding, as well as the “extension of great content” from the studio and, in particular, the movies following a 45-day theatrical release.

“That is something that’s been extraordinary for us to get on board,” says Sulebakk. “In the Nordic region, we only had library titles; we didn’t have second or first pay. We’ve seen a great response from our customer base and audiences who are expanding into the movies and the deep Warner Bros. catalogue.”

HBO Max is currently live in 46 territories across the Americas and Europe — a footprint that will climb to 61 following the next wave of European launches. Later this year, the service will debut in six more countries in Europe, including Greece, Turkey, Iceland and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

That’ll be it for Europe in 2022, begging the question of when HBO Max will launch in key Western European markets such as the U.K. and Germany, where WarnerMedia has a lucrative output deal with Comcast-backed pay-TV operator Sky that officially expires in 2025. (WarnerMedia has set a 190-country target for HBO Max by 2026.)

“I’m getting this question quite a lot,” says Sulebakk. “We do have a very, very strong partnership with Sky, both in the U.K., Italy, Germany and Austria. We’ve had a very long-standing relationship that we’re very pleased about. I can’t tell you anything about the short-term future.”

HBO Max unites series and movies from Warner Bros., HBO, DC, Cartoon Network and Max Originals. The platform confirmed in October that Warner Bros. movies will launch on HBO Max in Europe 45 days after their theatrical release — a move that sparked intense debate stateside upon its debut last year. Among the films included in the second wave of launches are “The Matrix Resurrections,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “The Suicide Squad” and “Tom and Jerry.”

Sulebakk says the theatrical window will always be respected. “Where we want to shorten down is getting the movies and the great content to the audiences shortly after theatrical, without a long waiting period. And also without a long wait on AVOD and TVOD and the rental business.”

Elsewhere, new Max Originals include “Station Eleven,” “Peacemaker,” “Raised by Wolves” Season 2 and “Sex Lives of College Girls.” Meanwhile, European Max Originals coming to the platform include “Todo Lo Otro,” “Kamikaze,” “Lust,” “Ruxx,” “The Thaw,” “The Informant” and “Garcia!”

The non-scripted slate includes “Expecting Amy,” “Finding Magic Mike,” “FBoy Island” and “Selena + Chef,” while kids’ programming includes “Teen Titans Go!,” “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “Looney Tunes Cartoons” and “Cocomelon.”

HBO Max will be available on leading devices and platforms, including smart TVs (Samsung, LG and Android TV); streaming devices (Apple TV 4K and Google Chromecast); game consoles (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S); mobile and tablets (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android); and on desktop through its website.

The platform will also be made available through selected TV distribution partners. Subscribers can have up to five viewer profiles and watch on three simultaneous streams.