Exclusive: HBO Max to launch in 15 European countries on March 8

FILE PHOTO: Toy figures of people are seen in front of the displayed HBO Max logo, in this illustration taken January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - WarnerMedia's HBO Max streaming service will launch in 15 European countries, including Poland, Portugal and Romania, on March 8, making it available in 61 territories across Europe and the Americas.

The service, owned by AT&T Inc, entered Europe in October by launching in the Nordics and Spain, with a host of promotional offers to grab customers from Netflix Inc and Walt Disney Co's Disney+.

In Eastern Europe and Portugal, apart from an attractive monthly price, customers signing up during the launch offer will get 33% off from the regular price for life, Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, said in an interview.

The monthly subscription for HBO Portugal was 4.99 euros ($5.59) per month and HBO Max will be priced at 5.99 euros, but existing subscribers and the ones who sign up in March will have to pay 3.99 euros a month.

Unlike the promotional launch offers in the Nordics and Spain, existing customers in the new markets will get the reduced price for life.

The company did not disclose prices for the Netherlands.

"We only started launching HBO Max in new markets in the middle of last year and added almost 8 million subscribers outside the U.S. in 2021," Larcher said.

HBO ended the year with 73.8 million subscribers for its streaming service and namesake cable network.

It plans to launch the service in another six European countries, including Greece and Turkey, later this year.

However, HBO Max will not be available in the UK, Germany and Italy for the next few years due to an existing deal with Sky.

While the company has plans to launch HBO Max in 190 countries by 2026, it has not announced any plans for Asia yet.

"We are working hard on preparing for a potential launch in Asia ... it's fair to expect that Southeast Asia would probably be the first market in Asia we would go in with HBO Max," Larcher said.

($1 = 0.8921 euros)

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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