Reliance’s Viacom18 and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced a multi-year agreement that will bring all HBO and Warner Bros. content to JioCinema for streaming in India. Starting from May 2023, JioCinema will be the exclusive destination for Warner Bros.’s extensive catalog of TV series and movies, including Max Originals (original content on its Max service – formerly HBO Max), as well as other productions from the studio. 

What does the  JioCinema and HBO deal entail? 

This move follows a strategy similar to Disney+ Hotstar, which has expanded its library beyond its originals. The absence of a home for HBO Max productions in India led to Peacemaker being picked up by Amazon Prime Video seven months after its US release. 

With this new agreement, Indian viewers will have access to a much wider range of popular content, and JioCinema will become a one-stop destination for quality streaming entertainment.

In a recent press release, Clement Schwebig, President of Warner Bros. Discovery (India, Southeast Asia, and Korea), expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership between Warner Bros. Discovery and Viacom18. The collaboration will enable the two media giants to bring a wide array of premium content, including HBO, Max Original, and Warner Bros., to Indian viewers via JioCinema. Schwebig highlighted the immense popularity of Warner Bros. Discovery’s brands in India and the new partnership’s potential to entertain and engage audiences. 

He also emphasized the company’s commitment to South Asia and its aim to expand its regional business through this collaboration. This new strategic partnership is expected to offer Indian audiences access to high-quality entertainment while further strengthening the scale and reach of the regional entertainment industry.

Ferzad Palia, Head of SVOD & International Business at Viacom18, expressed his excitement about JioCinema’s partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery to bring premium Hollywood content to Indian audiences. Palia stated that JioCinema’s focus is to create an irresistible entertainment destination for all Indians, and the strategic collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery is a significant milestone in this journey. 

He emphasized JioCinema’s goal to offer its elite consumers the best of Hollywood content and the belief that the studio sets the global standard for premium content. By joining forces with Warner Bros. Discovery, JioCinema aims to offer its users the most comprehensive and compelling streaming experience. Palia’s remarks indicate that the partnership is poised to bring a new era of entertainment to Indian audiences and reinforce JioCinema’s position as the go-to destination for live sports and premium entertainment.

What HBO content is supposed to be available on JioCinema? 

Under the new agreement between Warner Bros. Discovery and Viacom18, JioCinema will offer Indian audiences the latest and future seasons of popular HBO series such as House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, Euphoria, The White Lotus, and the fourth and final season of Succession. Notably, the fourth season of Succession did not air in India at the same time as in the US due to the expiry of the previous deal with Disney+ Hotstar at the end of March.

Disney+ Hotstar’s recent removal of all HBO content, including Game of Thrones and The Last of Us, sparked speculation among industry analysts that Amazon Prime Video might acquire the streaming rights to HBO’s library. However, the partnership between Warner Bros. Discovery and Viacom18 has surprised many. In addition to offering popular HBO content, the partnership will also make new original content available to Indian audiences. 

What upcoming releases can we expect to see on JioCinema? 

Upcoming releases, such as Sam Levinson’s The Idol and Park Chan-wook’s The Sympathizer, will be available to stream on JioCinema on the same day as their US premiere.

What sets this new deal apart is that it includes not only critically acclaimed HBO series but also Max Original and Warner Bros. productions, which were previously not available to Indian audiences unless there was a significant demand for them. For instance, the absence of Peacemaker from the Hotstar deal delayed its arrival in India, but the upcoming season will now be available to stream on JioCinema.

While it remains unclear if ongoing shows such as The Flight Attendant, And Just Like That…, and Peacemaker will be removed from Amazon Prime Video, JioCinema will soon offer these shows for streaming, alongside highly anticipated new shows such as The Penguin, a Colin Farrell-led spin-off series from The Batman, and Dune: The Sisterhood, a prequel series based on the 2012 sci-fi novel Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. And let’s not forget the highly anticipated Harry Potter TV series.

Classic HBO Content to also Head to JioCinema: 

JioCinema is set to become the ultimate entertainment destination for Indians with the inclusion of blockbuster Warner Bros. movies such as the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the DC Universe franchise, as well as beloved animated titles like Dexter’s Laboratory and Tom and Jerry Kids.

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