The American multinational mass media conglomerate WarnerMedia announced that it would discontinue HBO SD and HD linear movie channels in India from December 15, 2020. Besides India, the channels will be suspended in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives as well. The decision to discontinue is a result of its struggles to find a sustainable business model in the South Asian region. The subscriber base of the channels is tiny in these regions.
Focus Shifts Towards Cartoon Network and Pogo channels
The Warner Media Group intends to shift its focus on the kids’ segment, implying that the channels such as Cartoon Network and Pogo channels will be promoted in the countries. The Group also targets to increase the local animation production.
Siddharth Jain, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Warner Media South Asia, expressed his grief in an official statement seen by ET Brand Equity Report. “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 report quoted.
There are plenty of changes in the pay-tv industry landscape across India. The market dynamics further took a turn in the current COVID-19 pandemic, which also has accelerated the Group’s decision.
Jain thanked the HBO and WB fans besides his employees behind the brand. He promised that the company plans to keep India as a key market and is committed to assessing optimal opportunities in the country.
The Group’s offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru will continue to work on kids’ brand channels after the cessation. Operations, sales and marketing, including the distribution, will be managed by these offices.