HBO Max is eyeing an official Australian launch, according to Foxtel boss

HBO Max logo surrounded by popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Ascannio)

Currently, if you want to enjoy what HBO has to offer here in Australia, your options are either to subscribe to Binge or use a VPN. However, we might one day see HBO offer Aussies an official streaming service – at least according to Foxtel boss Patrick Delany.

HBO is a premium network with its own streaming service, HBO Max, available in the US and offers some of 2022’s biggest shows, including Euphoria, House of the Dragon and Succession. Currently, Foxtel owns the rights to a variety of content offered by HBO, which is why you can find these shows on the Aussie streaming service Binge.

While we’ve yet to hear from HBO directly, Delany’s comments (per the Sydney Morning Herald) are the first public hint of potential plans to launch HBO Max in Australia. For the time being it’s simply all speculation, so anything could happen between now and when we get an official word from HBO.

Of course, if an Australian launch does happen, it’s likely that HBO content will no longer be available on Binge, meaning fans of franchises such as Game of Thrones or Euphoria would then have to look at picking up another subscription service (or jumping ship) to catch their favourite shows.

That’s not the only hints Delany dropped for the future of Foxtel. He also mentioned that two streaming services that the company offers – Kayo Sports and Binge – might end up coming together to offer the content provided by both services under one brand name in the future. 

This follows last week's announcement about Binge’s upcoming ad tier, which is set to roll out in the first quarter of 2023 and will offer viewers a cheaper option offset by the presence of ads. Currently, there’s no confirmation on whether Kayo will also be getting an ad-supported tier.

What does this mean for viewers?

Aussies already have a healthy range of streaming options across a number platforms including Netflix, Disney Plus, Stan, Binge, Amazon Prime Video and more. If HBO was to be offered in Australia, it could mean viewers will have to pay for another service to enjoy access to content that was once offered on a platform they already pay for.

The cost for each subscription can get pretty pricey, especially for families who are looking into plans to stream across multiple devices at once. A subscription to any of the services available in Australia starts at AU$4.92/m (that’s for Amazon Prime Video’s yearly subscription costing AU$59, otherwise that's AU$6.99/m) and goes all the way up to AU$84/m for Foxtel Now’s Ultimate bundle. Soon there’ll be a few more cheaper options with ad-supported tiers coming to Netflix, Disney Plus and Binge, but outside of that price reduction the costs for these services has only ever increased.

Until HBO Max becomes available in Australia, which is not a certainty, we won’t know where the HBO Max price will fall - or, indeed, if there will be any sign of the otherwise long-gone HBO Max free trial. The possibility of exclusive content from the network is great for fans, but it could also be just another expense to add to the rising cost of living.

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Streaming services costs compared
ServiceMin Subscription CostMax Subscription Cost
NetflixAU$10.99p/m (AU$6.99 once ad tier launches in Nov)AU$22.99p/m
Disney PlusAU$9.99p/m (AU$119.99p/a)AU$11.99p/m
Amazon Prime VideoAU$4.92p/m (AU$59p/a)AU$6.99p/m
Apple TV PlusAU$7.99p/mAU$7.99p/m
Foxtel NowAU$25p/mAU$84p/m
Paramount PlusAU$7.50p/m (AU$89.99p/a)AU$8.99p/m
Petra Player

Petra has had a long-time love of tech, gaming and entertainment, especially if she can find it at a discount. With a background in archaeology, she’ll dig deep to find the best deals and thanks to her long history in retail, knows what makes a good bargain. She also is a bit of a keyboard hobbyist, having found enjoyment with mechanical keyboards during 2020’s lockdown, and enjoys trying out new peripherals whenever she gets the chance.