HBO Max heads south, adds mobile option

Sticking with its ambitious international rollout of HBO Max even as it preps for its planned marriage to Discovery, AT&T's WarnerMedia has reiterated plans to launch its flagship SVOD service across Latin America and the Caribbean late next month.

WarnerMedia announced earlier this week that it will roll out its year-old HBO Max service in 39 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean on June 29 as it gears up the service for global coverage. Plans also call for launching HBO Max throughout much of Europe this year, raising the total number of international markets covered to 60.

The roster of Latin American and Caribbean markets includes Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, B.V.I., Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Uruguay and Venezuela. WarnerMedia will offer the service through such partners as AT&T Mexico, DirecTV Latin America, Sky Brasil, DirecTV GO and Grupo América Móvil. Existing HBO linear subscribers at Claro Video (Mexico), Claro (Brazil), Claro (Latam), Oi (Brazil), Tim (Brazil), TotalPlay (Mexico), VIVO (Brazil), VTR (Chile) will have access to HBO Max at no additional cost.

"Our launch in Latin America and the Caribbean is the first step in our global rollout of HBO Max," said Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, in a written statement. "WarnerMedia is one of the most popular and trusted sources of entertainment across Latin America, and we are very excited that our global journey starts here."

As part of its southward expansion, HBO Max will offer two monthly subscription plans, including a mobile option. The plans, which start at $3 per month, include Standard (with access to three simultaneous users, five personalized profiles, content downloads and 4K video) and Mobile (with a single standard definition stream with optimized image quality).

In addition, HBO Max will offer subscriptions for recurring periods of three or 12 months, with a discount of up to 30% in its new international markets.

This push south of the US border comes as HBO Max continues to gain steam. AT&T reported recently that it ended Q1 with 63.9 million HBO and HBO Max subs worldwide and now expects to close out the year with 67 million to 70 million HBO and HBO Max subs.

HBO Max's Latin American move also comes amid uncertainty over who will be running WarnerMedia in the future as it comes under the Discovery umbrella. In the latest news on that front, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar told staffers at a town hall meeting Thursday that he plans to stay with the company at least through the first part of next year, according to Variety.

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— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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