In a statement which came as a shock to the Hollywood fans in India, the entertainment conglomerate Warner Media on Friday announced its decision to shut down HBO SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition) linear movie channels in India.
The decision which would come into effect from December 15th this year took this sensational decision for markets in India and other South Asian nations given to its audience size remains tiny. Backing the resolution taken, Warner Media stated that it has been struggling to find a sustainable business model in South Asia despite operating in the region for more than a decade.
“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.
Besides India, the channels will remain shut in Pakistan, Maldives and Bangladesh as well. However, WarnerMedia clarified that it will continue to offer Cartoon Network and Pogo in India, and distribute CNN International in the country. HBO also maintains a content syndication partnership with Disney’s Hotstar in India and will continue to offer HBO’s shows.