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Revealed: Here’s why Disney+ Hotstar let go of HBO content

According to the sources, as part of renewing the deal with Disney+Hotsar, HBO had asked for a sum that Disney felt was unreasonable

Disney took the decision to let go of HBO content from its platform owing to the reason that the subscriber base for its content is niche and is relatively low on the platform, so it does not justify the asking price. 

According to sources, as part of renewing the deal with Disney+ Hotsar, HBO had asked for a sum of $50 million for five years. 

A query sent to both Disney and HBO went unanswered till the time of filing of this report.

Moreover, industry experts told that HBO is unable to find a home for its content in India. 

“If they had takers for their content and they were looking at a five-year deal, then these "rumours" of them launching a platform of their own are baseless,” said an industry analyst. 

The analyst quoted above went on to state that HBO leaving Disney+ Hotstar is not going to have any impact on the platform's subscription base, as the number of people viewing that content is almost negligible on the OTT platform. 

“Disney has a lot of other things for its viewers - including regional content, which has a decent viewership,” the analyst added.

Disney+ Hotstar announced that it will discontinue streaming HBO content on the platform starting March 31, 2023. 

In a recent tweet, Disney+Hotstar wrote, “Hi! Starting 31st March, HBO content will be unavailable on Disney+ Hotstar. 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.” 

Hotstar has been streaming HBO original shows since January 2016. In December 2015, Disney Star had struck an exclusive tie-up with HBO. 

HBO’s shows such as Succession, The Last of Us, Game of Thrones, Watchmen and The Wire formed a major part of its offerings. 

A month ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the plan to cut $5.5 billion in costs. This cost-cutting included about $3 billion in non-sports-related content and $2.5 billion in non-content-related costs.

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