WarnerMedia International has announced to discontinue the HBO SD and HD linear movie channels in India and Pakistan, as well as the WB linear movie channel in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives, effective from 15 December 2020.
WarnerMedia International will continue to operate and invest more in the highly popular Kids brands Cartoon Network and POGO in the South Asia region, including increasing local animation production in this region.
Commenting on this move, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks South Asia SVP and managing director Siddharth Jain stated, “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. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all our partners and fans who have made HBO and WB household names. We also owe a debt of gratitude to all our employees who have worked so passionately on these well-loved brands. WarnerMedia has a strong interest in India and is committed to assessing optimal opportunities to serve valued customers here.”
WarnerMedia will continue to have employees based in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to manage its Kids brands operations, sales and marketing as well as the distribution of CNN International.
Is this a sign to make way for HBO Max in India? Only time will tell.