HBO and WB channels to be phased out from India from December
American multi-national mass media and entertainment conglomerate Warner Media has decided to discontinue HBO and WB TV movie channels in India and Pakistan from 15 December.
The decision came after WarnerMedia International, who have decided to shut down the HBO SD and HD linear movie channels in India and Pakistan, and the WB linear movie channel in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives.
Reportedly, WarnerMedia will end HBO and WB TV channels in markets like India, where a cable subscription costs about $4 to $5 a month.
It will continue operating and investing more in its popular kids' brands, Cartoon Network and POGO, in the South Asia region, with a focus on increasing local animation production in this region.
The closure of HBO and WB, which enjoyed powerful positions in the English content market, is an indicator of the growth of OTT platforms, especially amid the ongoing pandemic. The company will launch its streaming platform, HBO Max soon.
“After 20 years of successes for the HBO linear movie channel in South Asia and more than a decade with the WB linear movie channel, this was a difficult decision to make. The pay-TV industry landscape and the market dynamics have shifted dramatically, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for further change,” said Siddharth Jain, senior vice president and managing director for WarnerMedia’s entertainment networks in South Asia.
“WarnerMedia has a strong interest in India and is committed to assessing optimal opportunities to serve valued customers here,” he added.
“If you want to be a strong global player, you have to be strong in Asia-Pacific. In India, we don’t have the scale that we want and where we have to be. In order to get there, the workhorse will be HBO Max,” said Gerhard Zeiler, head of WarnerMedia International, sometime back, hinting at the release of the streaming platform in the country.