Mass media company WarnerMedia announced its plan to discontinue its linear channels HBO and WB in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives starting December 15.
As per a report from Variety, Siddharth Jain, senior vice president and managing director, WarnerMedia South Asia, said: “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.”
He cited that the Covid-19 pandemic and change in market dynamics have resulted in this decision. Jain also expressed his gratitude to all the employees and stated that the media company “has a strong interest in India and is committed to assessing optimal opportunities to serve valued customers here.”
The company will continue to air channels such as Cartoon Network and Pogo in South Asia.
They have also planned on retaining employees in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore to ensure smooth operations of these channels and the distribution of CNN International.
The move comes weeks after the head of international WarnerMedia Gerhard Zeiler said that they have not reached their intended scale in India.
According to Live Mint, he hinted that online streaming service HBO Max could be brought to India. Speaking to the APOS Summit 2020 in September, Zeiler had stated, “We have our work cut out in the market. But you will hear more about HBO Max in the next months or next year. It’s going to be our workhorse going forward.”
A report by Tech Crunch states that HBO will still continue to maintain a content syndication partnership with Disney Hotstar to stream various HBO shows such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.