From The Last of Us to Games of Thrones‘ spin-off House of the Dragon – HBO’s most viewed TV shows and other originals on Disney Plus Hotstar will be removed after March. The announcement has sent shockwaves to Indian subscribers with many questioning the worth of holding on to the Disney streaming service except to tune in to Marvel Studios and Star Wars titles.
Disney Plus Hotstar has confirmed all HBO content will only be available to stream until March 31. While the news of the WBD-owned properties leaving the mouse house service was reported in early February – the streaming giant has made the announcement public knowledge by addressing a subscriber’s query in regards to Perry Mason season 2.
While Disney Plus Hotstar instead tried to change the focus to its “vast library of content spanning over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies in 10 languages”, the OTT’s subscribers have still not taken the news well. Disappointed users also pointed out Disney losing the IPL rights to Viacom18 and the airing rights of Formula 1 going to F1 TV Pro.
Many have criticized the streamer with some also demanding a refund of their yearly subscription. Readers can check it out below.
Without HBO content, hotstar is just YouTube kids app. I mean what are you gonna do? Just watch marvel and star wars? They don't even have cricket
— kalim (@akhmxt) March 8, 2023
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.
— Disney+HS_helps (@hotstar_helps) March 7, 2023
Looks like Disney+Hotstar's The Last of us is literally the Last of us as far as HBO goes
— Ashwin Mushran (@ashwinmushran) March 8, 2023
IPL, F1, and now HBO gone.
What's even the use of Hotstar now 😂 pic.twitter.com/45InXw4RAp
— Shilpak. (@ugach_kahitarii) March 7, 2023
"As one media industry executive puts it, “Hotstar was known for two things, cricket and HBO. Without that premium stuff, what is left for a subscriber to pay for?”" – from @bytesofnews' Intersection debut for @TheSignalDotCo last month. Read for free. https://t.co/LllEraC7VF https://t.co/g1TqnSqrgy
— Venkat Ananth (@venkatananth) March 8, 2023
Hotstar just went from being the best streamer in India to practically becoming a dead horse in a matter of weeks. First F1, now this. They think they can make their platform work with just Marvel/Star Wars stuff and IPL. They're wrong.
RIP. I won't be renewing this year. https://t.co/XlF0qKOqpQ
— Muthu (He/Him) (@muthuwu) March 8, 2023
IPL, F1, and now HBO gone.
What's even the use of Hotstar now 😂 pic.twitter.com/LKjwzypCs0
— Vatsalya (@hey_itsvatsalya) March 8, 2023
Me looking at my pending watchlist in hotstar.. and 9/10 is from HBO🥶 https://t.co/37VTf4BKlW pic.twitter.com/BEmkvJyetP
— Kushal Salvi (@KushalTweets991) March 8, 2023
1) What is the point of Hotstar without HBO content after March 31? 😑
2) Where the hell to watch Succession S4? 😳
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) March 8, 2023
Hotstar lost all HBO shows like Game of Thrones, Last of us, House of Dragon etc and Will be available soon on Amazon Prime…
Already IPL um Pochi Ipo ithuvum Pochi
— Ayyappan (@Ayyappan_1504) March 8, 2023
31st march is the last day of hbo content on #hotstar. My subscription expires 30th march. Coincidence i think not 😂 pic.twitter.com/RxNvyfsUzv
— Mehardeep Singh (@Mehardeep2) March 8, 2023
Hotstar lost IPL and HBO in the same year. pic.twitter.com/GRgmTvLFz5
— cyanide kuppi (@arjunvish7) March 8, 2023
Hotstar last days! #Hotstar #HBO #IPL pic.twitter.com/YQrQDW6IwJ
— Vedang Shahane (@vedangshahane) March 8, 2023
So, Hotstar lost its Hot property – IPL – and is now losing its Star property – HBO.
The app will henceforth be called " ".
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) March 8, 2023
On the bright side, industry experts claim the HBO original shows exiting Hotstar will soon be available on Prime Video since existing HBO Max content like Kaley Cuoco starrer The Flight Attendant is currently accessible to India through the Amazon OTT service.
In addition, TLOU fans in India need not fret as users will still be able to tune in on The Last of Us episode 9, the finale on March 12 and the Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey-headed show will continue to stream until the end of this month. Though the same cannot be said of Succession stans as the final season 4 only arrives on March 26.
If Warner Bros. Discovery decides to strike a deal with Prime Video, its HBO Max content could be included as add-ons in the Prime Video Channels. In fact, Discovery+ is already available for purchase in India ₹399/year.
Disney Plus Hotstar has been harshly critiqued in the past by Indian subscribers for the lack of IMAX-enhanced titles, unlike the US edition. Moreover, other features like multi-user profiles are still yet to arrive on India’s Hotstar while the service also only offers limited 4K and HDR support.
In 2022, Hotstar observed a 42% growth but the streaming service also predicted its viewership downfall due to the loss of IPL rights though it seems the mouse house also included the removal of WBD’s HBO shows and movies as well.
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