Industry / Market - Europe/USA
Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming
HBO Max halts original productions in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Central Europe and Turkey
For the time being, only Spain and France are spared from the company’s new strategy, following the merger with Warner Bros Discovery
It’s official: HBO Max is halting the production of its Originals in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden), the Netherlands, Turkey and Central Europe.
After the merger with Warner Bros Discovery, the giant is actively pursuing profitable streaming subscriber growth and a staggering $3 billion in cost savings, which will require significant adjustments to the streaming service’s business and programming strategy. The announcement was first reported by Variety.
In addition, the streamer will also remove “a limited amount of original programming” to allow it to free up licensing deals elsewhere.
A statement released by the company reads: “As we continue to work on combining HBO Max and Discovery+ into one, global streaming service showcasing the breadth of content across Warner Bros Discovery, we are reviewing our current content proposition on the existing services. As part of this process, we have decided to remove a limited amount of original programming from HBO Max, as well as ceasing our original programming efforts for HBO Max in the Nordics and Central Europe. We have also ceased our nascent development activities in the newer territories of the Netherlands and Turkey, which had commenced over the past year. Our commitment to these markets has not changed. We will continue to commission local content for Warner Bros Discovery’s linear networks in these regions, and we remain substantial acquirers of local third-party content for use on our streaming services.”
For the time being, HBO Max’s original programming efforts in Spain and France are not affected by this decision. Moreover, it will not affect the legacy Discovery business or the merged company’s free-to-air networks. At this stage, redundancies are likely to happen across the European business, and a great deal of concern remains over the giant’s operations on the continent.
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