HBO Max stops original productions in much of Europe, Variety has reported. The streaming service confirmed that it will no longer produce originals in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Central Europe, the Netherlands and Turkey, leaving only Spain and France unaffected. The news is part of a plan by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery to save about $3 billion in costs after AT&T split.
“We are reviewing our current content proposition across the existing services,” a spokesperson told Variety in a statement. “As part of this process, we have decided to remove a limited amount of original programming from HBO Max, as well as discontinue our original programming efforts for HBO Max in Scandinavia and Central Europe. We also have our burgeoning development activities in the newer areas of The Netherlands and Turkey, which had started in the past year.”
Some of the service’s most acclaimed shows, including: lust (Sweden) and Kamikaze (Denmark) came from Scandinavia and other affected regions. In addition to stopping production, HBO Max is removing those shows along with the Hungarian drama the informant of its service worldwide. Projects already in production and other approved shows will reportedly continue, but they can be sold to other platforms, with Warner acting strictly as producer.
Streaming content production has been a bright spot in Europe as Netflix and other platforms use the 30 percent quota for local content required in the main markets there. However, HBO Max’s announcement may put a damper on that, as “fires are likely” [HBO Max’s] European affairs,” Variety noted.
More ominously, “similar decision-making for HBO Max is currently taking place in all territories where the streamer operates, including the US, Latin America and parts of Europe,” it added. Along with layoffs recently announced by Netflix, this is the first sign of dark clouds during the peak TV era.
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