HBO content such as The Last of Us, Game of Thrones will not be available on Disney+ Hotstar from March 31
HBO content such as Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, and Euphoria will leave Disney+ Hotstar by the end of March 2023. In response to a tweet, Hotstar’s support team confirmed that starting March 31 , HBO shows and movies will not be available to watch on the streaming platform, which has been the main destination for Indians to access WarnerMedia content after the company halted HBO cable TV channels in the country in 2020. Of course, all Disney material, which includes Marvel and Star Wars content, will remain on the platform.
“Starting March 31, HBO content will no longer be available on Disney+ Hotstar. You can continue to enjoy 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,” the tweet read. A report last month suggested the shake-up is in line with some restructuring and cost-cutting plans announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger, which included laying off 7,000 workers. The original licensing agreement between the two parties was signed in late 2015 – when the platform was simply called “Hotstar” – which brought HBO content to the streaming service. At the time, Game of Thrones was a huge draw, which started airing on Hotstar in India immediately after it ended its airing in the United States.
Starting March 31, HBO content will no longer be available on Disney+ Hotstar. You can continue to enjoy Disney+ Hotstar’s expansive content library spanning over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies in 10 languages and coverage of major global sporting events.
—Disney+HS_helps (@hotstar_helps) March 7, 2023
The Indian Premier League (IPL) was another major source of traffic for Disney+ Hotstar, but was hit hard when Viacom18 secured the digital streaming rights for it – for the next five years. However, Disney Star still owns the TV broadcast rights.
Additionally, Hotstar has also not renewed the Formula 1 broadcast rights in 2023, with that content moving to F1 TV Pro. That said, other sports content such as the Premier League, Indian Super League and some international cricket matches are still available to stream.
There were signs of internal upheaval long before the initial report. Normally, it is understood that in India, all HBO shows would appear on Disney+ Hotstar. However, when The Last of Us was preparing for its premiere on January 15 worldwide, the company never put up any banners or advertisements for the same, while the PR and support teams were unaware. still not sure if the series would happen. India, after all. On January 16, however, the pilot just dropped without prior announcement, to the surprise of fans, and strictly followed a weekly schedule – with the exception of episode 5, which was brought forward two days to avoid clash with Super Bowl LVII. event.
With the fourth and final season of Succession set to drop on Disney+ Hotstar on March 26, it will be interesting to see how the company handles it. They could either release episode 1 and then shut down all HBO content, or avoid airing the pilot altogether. Still, if you still haven’t caught up with the current The Last of Us series, The White Lotus, or any other HBO show, now would be a good time, because as of now, there’s no solid confirmation for where HBO’s content will end. Industry analysts suggest Amazon Prime Video is a good candidate, where it could be packaged with its usual content or provided as a separate subscription-based paid channel, similar to AMC+.
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