Mumbai: WarnerMedia International on Wednesday announced that it will discontinue HBO’s SD and HD lenear movie channels in India and Pakistan as well as the WB linear movie channels in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives with effect from December 15, 2020.
A statement issued by the company on Wednesday says that WarnerMedia International will continue to operate and invest more in its popular kids channels Cartoon Network and POGO in the South Asia region, including local animation production in the 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, SVP and Managing Director of WarnerMedia’s entertainment network in South Asia, in a statement issued on Wednesday.
It is learnt that HBO and other WB TV channels other than kids channels were struggling to operate in India, as Times Internet’s Movies Now, Star Movies and Sony Pix managed to attract a large share of viewers in the country.
“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”, Jain added.
The company will retain its employees in Mumbai, Delhi and Banglore to manage its kids brand operations, sales and marketing as well as the distribution of CNN International.
WB’s decision to close the linear channel in India is coming at a time of speculation that Disney, another Hollywood studio is planning to step back from its production operations in India through closure of Fox Star Studios.