With Disney+ Hotstar and HBO terminating their content partnership agreement, popular HBO shows such as Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon and The Last of Us will not be available on Disney+ Hotstar after March 31.
"You can continue enjoying Disney+ Hotstar’s vast library of content spanning over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies in 10 languages and coverage of major global sporting events," shared Disney+ Hotstar in a tweet.
“HBO's content team is in talks with multiple OTT platforms for a licencing deal. Whoever offers the best price as well as the size and scale will have the deal," said a senior executive of a leading streaming service in India on the condition of anonymity.
e4m has learnt that these deals can be exclusive and non-exclusive in nature.
Sources further say that Warner Bros Discovery, which was supposed to launch a SVOD service in India last year, deferred the plan then.
"The launch was put on hold for a while but now they are working towards launching the platform in India. It may launch by the end of 2023 or early next year," said the source. The platform had planned to launch a streaming service in APAC by 2024. The company already operates Discovery+ streaming platform in India.
Sources in the industry said HBO was demanding too high a price for its content and so it is not able to close deal with any buyer. "Apparently the broadcaster is asking for an amount close to Rs 80 crore per year for its shows, which is too much for the value it adds to the platform," said a senior industry person.
Industry experts say meanwhile in order to make revenue, the network owned by Warner Bros Discovery has to license content to other OTT platforms, and in fact, acquire content as well.
Last year, Warner Bros. Discovery collaborated with Amazon Prime Video to offer a slate of 11 popular HBO Max Original series and 10 HBO Max original features exclusively for Prime members in India.
Warner Bros Discovery’s collaboration with Disney Star began in 2015 when it signed a programming agreement with the former for exclusive screening of HBO content on both TV and digital platforms.