HBO Max discontinues original production in parts of Europe in major restructuring

HBO Max discontinues original production in parts of Europe in major restructuring

The growing pains after the merger with Warner Bros. Discovery and a $3 billion cost savings target reach its programming strategy in Europe, diverse can reveal.

As the media group looks to reset its broadcast priorities, it will no longer produce HBO Max originals in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland), Central Europe, the Netherlands and Turkey, and will also remove some content from its platform in order to free up licensing deals in place. else.

In a joint statement with diverseA Warner Bros. spokesperson said: Discovery:

“As we continue to work on bringing HBO Max and discovery+ together into a single global streaming service that showcases the breadth of content through Warner Bros. discovery, we are reviewing our existing content proposal for existing services. As part of this process, we’ve decided to remove a limited amount of original programming from HBO Max, in addition to halting our original programming efforts for HBO Max in the Nordic and Central European countries.We have also halted our nascent development activities in newer lands in the Netherlands and Turkey, which began within the past year.

“Our commitment to these markets has not changed,” the statement continued. “We will continue to commission local content to the linear Warner Bros. Discovery Networks in these regions, and remain primary purchasers of third-party local content for use in our streaming services.”

The news, shared with staff and producing partners on Monday morning, will be a huge blow to the local drama community as well as the much-respected HBO Max cast in Europe, who just months ago made their wish list for a European screenplay. Producers as part of a high-demand session on the drama festival series Mania in late March. Some of the streaming service’s most popular international shows to date, such as the Swedish sex comedy ‘Lust’ and the Danish family drama ‘Kamikaze’, come from the Nordic countries.

While original development will be halted immediately in the above areas, programs already in production will continue, and it is understood that a number of green lights that have not yet been announced will also go ahead. However, some of these offerings may be sold to other platforms – a move that provides the WBD with more licensing opportunities elsewhere.

As part of the restructuring, some European original programming and some American shows from HBO Max will launch globally. Hungarian dramas “The Informant” as well as “Lust” and “Kamikaze” will be removed from service.

Two regions spared from the reform are Spain and France, where the originals would not be affected. This is likely due to the fact that Spanish-language content moves well for HBO Max, which has a large footprint in Latin America, and also serves the US Hispanic market. Meanwhile, although HBO Max has yet to launch in France, strict French content quotas for live creators under the game-changing audiovisual media service directive in Europe means that a strong French roster is unlikely to be a thing. Warner Bros. could lose. Discovery.

After Monday’s shocking restructuring of the originals, layoffs are likely across the European business, although specific details remain unknown.

The news will undoubtedly have a wide resonance across Europe as the production sector – despite its occasional grumble about rights – embraced the new commissioning opportunities heralded by the newcomers. The HBO team, in particular, has earned the respect of local producers for their long reign in expanding the European assets of the old brand.

HBO Max in EMEA is led by Anthony Root, Executive Vice President and Head of Original Production for WarnerMedia EMEA. His team includes Jonathan Young, Vice President and Editor in charge of Central European Original Production; Miguel Salvat, who has the same role in Spain; Christian Weekender on the Nordic Countries; Vera Peltikian for France.

Priya Dogra, who is based in London and recently formed her leadership team, is the President and Managing Director for the EMEA region, excluding Poland. J.B. Perrett is the CEO and President of Global Broadcasting and Interactive, while Gerhard Zeller is the International President.

diverse He understands that decision-making similar to HBO Max is currently taking place in all regions where the streaming device operates, spanning across the United States, Latin America, and parts of Europe.

The rationale behind the programming pivot is both strategic and financial. Overall, the company wants to create a smarter window for Discovery+ and HBO Max content before merging the services into a single offering. WBD will also likely be looking to leverage its IP address across many different global platforms and company divisions rather than just through the broadcast process. Moreover, the move comes as Wall Street takes a closer look at the streaming landscape after Netflix subscribers stumbled last quarter and a dizzying drop in stock prices.

as such diverse In the past month, WBD’s share price has fallen steadily since the consolidated group began trading on April 11 after the closing of WarnerMedia’s Discovery deal. The current market capitalization of WBD is approximately $34.29 billion, but the company has a debt burden of approximately $55 billion.

Analysts in June pointed to the need for more “clarity” about the media conglomerate’s direct-to-consumer strategy, with JP Morgan analysts noting: “WBD has the assets and potential cost savings to reinvest in DTC, but we are skeptical about the company’s ability to grow significantly.” Total is on the other side of Synergy.”

Earlier this year, WBD announced a $3 billion cost-saving plan within the first 24 months of the transaction. CEO David Zaslav warned that much of that could come from “investment avoidance”, which is reflected in European asset restructuring.

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