C’est officiel : Max, la plateforme de vidéo à la demande sur abonnement (SVoD) du groupe Warner Bros. Discovery (HBO, Eurosport…) débarquera enfin en France à l’été 2024, d’après une information du magazine américain Variety. The announcement was made during the International Market for Communication Programs (MIPCOM), which is taking place in Cannes from October 16th to 19th. Warner Bros. Discovery executives revealed that Max, the new name for the HBOMax platform since last May in the United States, will be available in 22 European countries in spring 2024, and then launched in France and Belgium in « summer 2024 ».
Les Jeux olympiques comme rampe de lancement
Max will be available in France just before the Olympic Games, which will take place from July 26th to August 11th. It will serve as a perfect launchpad for the new streaming service, as it holds the broadcasting rights for the Olympics through its Eurosport channel, whose programs will be included in Max’s offerings. Warner Bros. Discovery has exclusive media rights for the next four editions of the Olympic Games in Europe, along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), of which France Télévisions is a part.
To facilitate initial subscriptions to this new platform, which will have to find its place in a crowded French market alongside the leading Netflix (with over 15 million subscribers in France), Canal+ (which acquired OCS and claims over 9 million subscribers to its various offerings), Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Paramount+, Molotov, and numerous other small thematic streaming services.
Un catalogue massif et très attractif
To make a name for himself, Max will have the support of two heavyweights: Eurosport and HBO. In addition to the Olympics, Eurosport also holds the broadcasting rights for the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and major cycling tours, among others. HBO, on the other hand, has been providing a multitude of cult series such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Last of Us, Sex and the City, and Chernobyl for over twenty years. It already enjoys strong recognition in France thanks to OCS, which had exclusive rights to its series from 2008 until the end of 2022.
Since March 2023, HBO’s rich and prestigious catalog, along with around ten channels from the Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) group, have been available in the Warner Pass, which can be accessed through a subscription (€9.99 per month) on Amazon Prime Video Channels. Once Max is available, consumers will be able to access the content through a specific application, but the catalog will still be available through the Warner Pass until the end of 2024, as agreed upon between WBD and Amazon last year. It is worth noting that Max will allow French viewers to enjoy a larger catalog than the current content available through the Warner Pass, which does not include the hundred original series specifically produced for Max (including the Sex and the City spin-off series titled And Just Like That), as well as numerous films from the century-old Warner studio and various entertainment programs from the Discovery channel.