WarnerMedia International has announced the cessation of 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 with effect from December 15.
This means that WarnerMedia International will have presence in India through its kids’ channel brands – Cartoon Network and POGO in the South Asia region. The broadcaster said in a statement that it will sharpen focus on the kids’ segment in India, including increasing local animation production in this region.
“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, senior vice president and managing director, WarnerMedia’s entertainment networks in South Asia.
He added, “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 are 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’ channel brands operations, sales and marketing as well as the distribution of CNN International.
The HBO brand will also continue to have presence in India through it content deal with Disney+Hotstar. The video streaming platform houses HBO Original titles like WestWorld, and Game of Thrones.