HBO Max edges closer to launch in India

HBO Max has kicked off its campaign for India launch with the appointment of former Disney executive Amit Malhotra as its managing director in Southeast Asia and India. Malhotra will be involved in WarnerMedia’s “potential future launch” in India besides upgrading HBO Go to HBO Max.

At present, HBO has a distribution deal with Disney+ Hotstar and only few original shows like ‘Game of thrones’, ‘Westworld’, ‘The Sopranos’, and ‘Big Little Lies’ are available to Indian audience. HBO Max’s shows, however, are not available on Disney+ Hotstar.

With no direct presence in South Asian market, besides in eight territories with few films and two shows– ‘Justice League’ by Apple TV, BookMyShow Stream, and Google Play Movies and ‘Friends: The Reunion’ by Zee5, HBO Go Asia will be converted into a direct-to-consumer streaming platform.

Expressing his delight on his new appointment in WarnerMedia in Asia, he highlighted the popularity of DC Universe, HBO and Cartoon Network in Asian region and announced that the goal will be to bring “exciting new world class streaming experience” to the audience in this region with HBO Max.

As managing director in HBO Max, he will step in to achieve what he did for Disney by launching Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar in the streaming space as its regional head in Asia.

With plans for a launch in Latin America and the Caribbean by June end; and an upgrade in Europe in pipeline, HBO Max is currently looking to capture emerging markets of Asia with viewership in millions.

As per its International head Johannes Larcher, Malhotra is “an ideal leader to plan and oversee the rollout of HBO Max and its expanded content offering and platform experience.”

However, since the announcement by WarnerMedia suggests that Malhotra “will be exploring” the prospects of an Indian launch, it might be a while before it reaches its final execution.

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