HBO content on JioCinema: If like me, you were patiently waiting for HBO content to come back to India, then your wish has been fulfilled. This is no news now, but Viacom18 and HBO have done a ‘multi-year deal’ to stream HBO’s content in India. And, if reports are to be believed then the content would be available for streaming from next month i.e. May 2023. And, mostly it would be available on JioCinema.
HBO content used to stream on Disney+ Hotstar in India, but the deal ended on 31st March of this year. The Reliance’s Viacom 18 will allow JioCinema to stream Warner Bros, and HBO content in India, which includes the upcoming Harry Potter series as well.
HBO content on JioCinema: Free Streaming?
Another important piece of information, currently JioCinema allows you to stream for free. But, this can change in the future. People are speculating about the subscription amount, but nothing can be said at this moment. It might be safe to say that streaming might be free at least Tata IPL 2023 is underway.
TATA IPL’s streaming is breaking all the records with almost 22 million or 2.2 crore screens streaming CSK vs RCB matches. The number of people watching IPL would only go up from here, with playoffs around the corner.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance has spent an enormous amount of money to get the rights to stream IPL, for free. JioCinema would be streaming IPL for 2023-2027 for a total of Rs 23,758 crore. These are just digital rights. And now, they have a deal with HBO, for an undisclosed amount. JioCinema also streamed the FIFA world cup 2023, for free in several regional languages in India. That would be a lot of money as well.
Although, that makes me think if there is a potential for very strict privacy laws in India now. While HBO content might be available, people did watch Succession through Piracy. Telegram links are the biggest culprits.
Jio advent into the OTT business or in telecom too, was a disruption of the system. They started off by providing services for free. But, they have to charge money to sustain their services. When it comes to content, piracy is a big issue. Being Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani might want to push for stricter Piracy laws, and have a plan to enforce that their content is not available widely for free.
Even if Jio is pushing content for free for whatever time, they would want people to stream on their OTT platform.
While Disney+ Hostar needs to relook at its content, and subscription numbers in India, HBO is also going through certain a revamp. HBO’s subsidiary HBO Max has also been rebranded as just ‘Max’. As per media reports, HBO wants to keep the quality of content intact and separate ‘Max’ content from it. Furthermore, they might sell ‘Max’ to cut costs.
HBO is known to produce quality content like House of the Dragons, Game of Thrones, The White Lotus, The Last of Us, and yes Succession to name a few. There is no mass audience for this in India, but definitely, there is a niche.
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