A household name among Hollywood movie lovers, HBO and WB movie channels will cease airing in Indian cable TV, and DTH platforms from December 15, 2020. WarnerMedia Group, the parent company behind these channels has announced the termination of these linear TV channels in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
However, we might hear good news soon, as WarnerMedia intended to bring its full-fledged OTT entertainment and video streaming app, HBO Max, in the coming months to India.
With the closure of these movie channels, WarnerMedia will now focus on its kids’ channels, Cartoon Network and Pogo. It will retain employees based in its Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru office to handle these kids’ channel operations, sales, and marketing, and also the distribution of CNN International. The company will also increase investment in and production of local animation.
“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,” said Siddharth Jain, SVP and MD, Warner Media South Asia in a statement with Variety. “The pay-TV industry landscape and the market dynamics have shifted dramatically, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for further change,” he further added.
He further assured that “WarnerMedia has a strong interest in India and is committed to assessing optimal opportunities to serve valued customers here,”.
WarnerMedia decision to close the movie channels which was running in India for almost 20 years comes soon after a similar decision Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI). Sony earlier pulled the plug on AXN and AXN HD TV channels in India along with Sony MIX, Sony ESPN, and Sony ESPN HD.