Documentary fans mourn pending closure of discovery+ PH

March 23, 2023 - 4:58 PM
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Discovery Plus
Screengrab of the discovery+ homepage for the Philippines (Screengrab by Interaksyon from Discovery Plus Philippines website)

Filipino documentary lovers mourned the looming discontinuation of operations of discovery+ barely two years after arriving in the country.

Reports of the announcement of the streaming service circulated in the local online community on Wednesday as Twitter user @leifyyy shared a screengrab of an article from the platform’s website.

“Oh wow, discovery plus is ceasing operations in the Philippines. Panoorin niyo na ‘yung Trixie Motel bago mawala,” the online user wrote, referring to a reality show series that follows drag queen Trixie Mattel and her partner.

The article from the website of discovery+ reads:

What is happening to discovery+ in the Philippines?

Following a review of its content and streaming proposition in the Philippines, WBD will cease operation of the discovery+ service in the Philippines from Apr 27th, 2023. 

This means from Apr 27th, 2023, the discovery+ website and app in the Philippines will be closing permanently, and you will no longer be able to watch shows on discovery+ Philippines.

We thank you for your support and for being a member of the discovery+ family.

Inquirer Entertainment also reported about the pending closure.

Its report said that “the company will direct full efforts to grow the HBO Go service in the Philippines.”

“The closure of the discovery+ service in the Philippines will not affect the service in other markets and is not a reflection of Warner Bros. Discovery’s interest in ensuring meaningful presence in the Philippines,” it added.

The report further said that HBO Go “continues to grow” in the country, adding that its viewers have supposedly increased 37% in the past year.

It said that the programs “House of the Dragon,” “The Last of Us” and “Drag Race Philippines” were some of the country’s most popular shows in the past six months.

The move saddened some local discovery+ subscribers fond of watching documentaries and other definitive non-fictional shows which the streaming service is widely known for.

“T*g*na lang that this insulting press release does not even bother to offer any salve to those Filipino viewers who appreciated Discovery+ because of the variety of documentaries, home improvement and cooking shows that offered alternative entertainment in a sea of fictional TV,” lecturer Oliver Reyes wrote.

“I’m so sad about this. Pang-relax ko ang mga home reno [renovation] shows,” another Twitter user commented.

“Oh no!!! You got great content. I’m [in] my 2nd [second] year with you,” a Pinoy from Facebook reacted.

A pop culture-oriented Facebook page claimed to receive the following advisory as a subscriber:

discovery+ launched its services in the Philippines in October 2021.

It became home to content from the Discovery ChannelTLC, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, Food Network, Magnolia Network, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, and Asian Food Network, among others.

The streaming platform has an extensive library of top true crime content, a collection of nature and environmental programming, and more than 100 new and exclusive discovery+ originals from iconic franchises and personalities, such as Chip and Joanna Gaines, Joe Kenda, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis.

READ: Rundown: ‘Drag Race PH,’ ’90 Day Fiancé,’ ‘Sing Again’ among entertainment slate of discovery+ streaming service

Last month, however, entertainment publication Deadline reported that Warner Bros. Discovery has “ditched plans to turn two streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery+, into one.”

“It will instead continue offering the latter as a stand-alone product as it moves forward with the springtime launch of a comprehensive service featuring programming from HBO Max and Discovery+,” it said.

“The plan now is to continue to have Discovery+ remain available even as a newly rebranded combo service hits the market in the spring. It is widely expected that HBO Max will be renamed Max, reflecting its broader subscriber orientation and ambitions to transcend its premium-cable roots,” the report added.