HBO and Warner Media will discontinue its broadcast services in four Asian countries—India, Pakistan, Maldives, and Bangladesh. However, channels like the Cartoon Network and Pogo in India will remain.
Such a step comes from the fact that HBO and WB have not been able to come up with a sustainable business model for the South-Asian countries due to which they are facing a loss of finances from providing services in these countries.
The audience size of HBO and Warner Bros in India remains tiny, although these channels are widely popular on the website. The cost of providing services is not worth the incurring profits, and the companies see a major loss in these South Asian countries.
In its statement, the company said that it would take off subscriptions from the markets where the subscription costs are about $4 to $5 a month on Dec. 15. Giving India’s example, it took the subscribers less than $2 to get a subscription to this channel.
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Stiff competition from Star
Although HBO and Warner are not doing well and getting off business from India, Star movies, on the other hand, have gained much popularity in the country. Other channels running successfully amidst the stiff competition are Times Internet’s Movies Now and Sony pix. They also have greater viewership than HBO as per the Audience Research Council.
“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, SVP and Managing Director of WarnerMedia’s entertainment network in South Asia, in a statement.
Pogo and CN to remain
The company started a dramatic shift in the pay-tv industry in India and the other south Asian countries. It wasn’t easy to sustain their current business model in these countries. It said that it would not discontinue some of its popular channels like Cartoon Network and Pogo in India and distribute CNN internationally.
Content syndication with Hotstar
In its move, it also came up with a big announcement of content syndication with Hotstar in India. This means that with Hotstar subscriptions, viewers can still watch HBO’s content through Hotstar’s subscription. Siddharth Jain said:
“WarnerMedia has a strong interest in India and are committed to assessing optimal opportunities to serve valued customers here.”
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