Two popular Hollywood movie channels on Indian television – HBO and WB – will bid goodbye to Indian TV viewers forever after today. The move proves yet again that streaming, as against conventional TV, is the future of tomorrow. WarnerMedia, owner company of both TV channels, has decided to concentrate all its time, energy and resources on furthering its streaming business. That is the reason why it is shutting down both its Hollywood movie channels, HBO and WB, in five Asian countries. Today, 15th December, is the last day for both TV channels in India.
The move paves the way for the imminent entry of WarnerMedia’s streaming platform HBO Max in India. Indian viewers can look forward to the entry of HBO Max in the country, which is likely to happen any time in the coming year, that is 2021.
WarnerMedia is very keen to launch its OTT platform HBO Max in South East Asia, given the surge in streaming entertainment in the region. Gerhard Zeiler, head of WarnerMedia International, has often made statements regarding this. Sometime back, he had stated to the media, “If you want to be a strong global player, you have to be strong in Asia-Pacific. In India, we don’t have the scale that we want and where we have to be. In order to get there, the workhorse will be HBO Max.”
The scrapping of the HBO and WB channels is a preemptive move that hints at the release of HBO Max in the country. WarnerMedia will continue to operate its other TV channels, Cartoon Network and POGO, in India.
Early 2021 is the best time to launch HBO Max in Asian countries for another crucial reason. WarnerMedia has moved its entire slate of movies for 2021 — 17 big ticket films — to a hybrid release. That means, 17 much-awaited films will release simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max. Launching HBO Max in India at this time will mean more people signing up for the service, given the huge popularity of Hollywood films in India.
The movies that will release on HBO Max are easily the most awaited films in the world right now, including in India — especially Dune, Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad and Godzilla Vs. Kong.
HBO, a channel that has been a constant presence on Indian TV for twenty years, bid an emotional goodbye to Indian TV viewers with a heartwarming 1-minute-long video posted on its social media handles, including Twitter. We will certainly miss the TV channel. It aired some of the best Hollywood movies on TV for Indian viewers to enjoy. Now, let’s hope HBO Max launches quickly in India, to give us our dose of quality Hollywood entertainment.
Have a look at the video posted by HBO on social media –