In a cost-cutting move by the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger, the company is stopping the production of self-produced content in Central Europe.
The news that a large number of series have been removed from the HBO Max platform came as somewhat of a surprise. The official response did not reveal much, but the scraps of information that emerged in the days that followed have hinted at the following state of affairs: after Discovery bought Warner, they were in debt, and one of the steps in the cost-cutting process was to remove content from the platform, Index reports.
The latest news is that in most regions of Europe, self-produced works are being stopped, so there will be no more original Hungarian films or series on HBO.
Ádám Pinczés-Pressing, the PR manager of HBO Hungary, confirmed the news to Index, saying:
We were shocked to hear about the decision, we are at a loss for words. We are confident that the in-house produced content we have created over the past ten years has provided a lasting experience for our viewers. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed their knowledge and dedication to the series during this time.”
In a statement shared with Variety, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery said:
As we continue to work on combining HBO Max and discovery+ into one global streaming service showcasing the breadth of content across Warner Bros. Discovery, we are reviewing our current content proposition on the existing services. As part of this process, we have decided to remove a limited amount of original programming from HBO Max, as well as ceasing our original programming efforts for HBO Max in the Nordics and Central Europe. We have also ceased our nascent development activities in the newer territories of Netherlands and Turkey, which had commenced over the past year.”
“Our commitment to these markets has not changed,” the statement continues. “We will continue to commission local content for Warner Bros. Discovery’s linear networks in these regions and we remain substantial acquirers of local third-party content for use on our streaming services.”
Hungarian drama The Informant (A besúgó) is among those series that was removed from the service and it seems there will not be a second season either.
WBD announced earlier this year a cost-savings plan of $3 billion within the first 24 months of the deal closing. Much of that, CEO David Zaslav warned, would come from “investment avoidance,” which is reflective in the European originals restructure, Variety reports. Following this news, redundancies are expected across the European business.
Featured image via HBO Max Hungary’s Facebook page