Discovery of Warner Bros.Growing post-merger difficulties and a $3 billion cost-saving target are targeting its programming strategy in Europe, Diversity may disclose.
When the media conglomerate wants to recalibrate its streaming priorities, it will no longer produce originals for HBO Max in Northern Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), Central Europe, the Netherlands and Turkey, and will also remove some content from its platforms to free up licensing deals in other places.
In a statement shared with DiversityA spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery said:
“As we continue to work to combine HBO Max and Discover+ into one global streaming service that showcases the breadth of content on Warner Bros. Discovery, we are reviewing its current content proposal. on existing services. As part of this process, we have decided to remove a limited number of original programming from HBO Max, as well as discontinue our original programming efforts for HBO Max in Northern and Central Europe. We have also stopped early development activities in the newer territories of the Netherlands and Turkey, which began in the past year.
“Our commitment to these markets has not changed,” the statement continued. “We will continue to deliver local content to Warner Bros. linear networks. Discovery in these regions, and we remain significant buyers of local third-party content for use on our streaming services.”
The news, shared with staff and production partners on Monday morning, will deal a heavy blow to the local drama community as well as the popular HBO Max team in Europe, they were just a few months ago. stated his wish list for European scenarios. manufacturers as part of a session in high demand at the Series Mania drama festival in late March. Some of the streaming service’s highest-rated international shows to date, such as the Swedish sex comedy “Lust” and the Danish family drama “Kamikaze” hail from Northern Europe.
While initial development will be halted immediately in the aforementioned territories, already-produced shows will continue and some unannounced green lights will also continue. However, some of these programs may be sold to other platforms – a move that gives WBD more licensing opportunities elsewhere.
As part of the restructuring, some European originals and some American shows will also premiere on HBO Max globally. The Hungarian TV series “The Informant” as well as “Lust” and “Kamikaze” will all be removed from the service.
The two territories that are being waived for the overhaul are Spain and France, where the originals will not be affected. This is likely because Spanish-language content is a great fit for HBO Max, which has a large footprint in Latin America and also serves the Spanish-American market. Meanwhile, HBO Max hasn’t even launched in France yet, but France’s strict content quota for broadcasters under the game-changing European Media Services Directive means a means of French media power is hardly something that Warner Bros. Discovery can lose.
Following Monday’s shocking original restructuring, it is likely that redundancy will occur across European businesses, although the specifics are still unknown.
The news is sure to resonate across Europe, where the manufacturing sector – despite occasional complaints about entitlement – has embraced new operational opportunities heralded by industry insiders. join the new streaming. In particular, the HBO team has won the respect of local producers thanks to its long expansion of European originals to the legacy brand.
HBO Max in EMEA is led by Antony Root, executive VP and head of original production for WarnerMedia EMEA. His team includes Johnathan Young, Vice President and Editor of Original Production for Central Europe; Miguel Salvat, who has the same role as Spain; Christian Wikander for Nordic; and Véra Peltekian for France.
Priya Dogra, who is based in London and recently formed her leadership team, is the president and chief executive officer of EMEA, excluding Poland. JB Perrette is the CEO and president of global streaming and interactive, while Gerhard Zeiler is the international president.
Diversity understands that similar decision making for HBO Max is currently taking place in all territories where the streamer operates, including the United States, Latin America, and parts of Europe.
The rationale behind the programming axis is both strategic and financial. Overall, the company wants to create a smarter window for Discovery+ and HBO Max content before the services are integrated into a single product. It is also possible that WBD will look to leverage its IP across various platforms and global divisions of the company rather than through streaming alone. What’s more, the move comes as Wall Street takes a closer look at the streaming landscape after Netflix’s subscribers tumbled last quarter and the stock price plummeted.
Like Diversity reported last month, WBD’s stock price keeps falling since hybrid apparel began trading on April 11 following the conclusion of Discovery’s transaction to WarnerMedia. WBD’s current market capitalization is around $34.29 billion, but the company has about $55 billion in debt.
Analysts in June suggested the need for “more clarity” on the media conglomerate’s direct-consumer strategy, with JP Morgan analysts noting: “WBD has assets. and potential cost savings to reinvest in DTC, but we doubt the company’s ability to develop aggregates on the other side of the synergies. “
WBD earlier this year announced plans to save $3 billion in costs within the first 24 months after the deal closes. Much of that, CEO David Zaslav warned, will come from “investment avoidance,” which is reflected in the restructuring of European-based companies.