Indian DC Fans on Streaming Left in the Dark as Hooq Shuts Down

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The Arrowverse is (partly) gone. Well, sort of. The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow are not available on streaming in India anymore — they were on both Hooq and Disney+ Hotstar, thanks to a tie-up between the two — as Hooq has shut down. (Arrow and Black Lightning are still on Netflix, though the former’s final season is not yet available. Batwoman has never been available on streaming in India to begin with.) If you’re wondering what platform the DC shows are headed to, well, there’s no answer to that for now. Warner Bros. Television Distribution didn’t comment.

Except new episodes haven’t been available for a while now. In mid-March, Hooq claimed “technical issues” as new episodes of The Flash season 6, Supergirl season 5, and Legends of Tomorrow season 5 stopped appearing on its service — and in turn, on Disney+ Hotstar. But that was clearly a mask for what was around the corner. In late March, Hooq’s Singaporean owner, the telecom giant Singtel, filed for the streaming service’s liquidation, citing “significant structural changes”. In other words, it was giving up. Hooq announced this week it would go offline Thursday, April 30, having amassed 80 million subscribers from five countries. There’s no word on how many were direct subscribers.

That means The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow — in addition to Batwoman — are only available on TV in India for the time being. This means new episodes aren’t immediately available, as they were with Hooq and Disney+ Hotstar. The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow air a day later on Wednesday on Colors Infinity in India. Supergirl arrives a week later, the next Sunday on Zee Café. For what it’s worth, things are better off with Batwoman (not on streaming) and Black Lightning (which hits Netflix after the full season). Both air on Colors Infinity in India, on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Another potential, but unlikely issue is heavy self-regulation imposed on cable TV in India, with the looming threat of fine and licence suspension. That has led to massive self-censorship on TV. Though it’s worth noting that Arrowverse series are all rated 14+ or under — weirdly, Netflix classifies them as 18+ in India — so there’s little to censor here.

But the Arrowverse isn’t the only thing that’s impacted by Hooq’s shutdown. Hooq held exclusive streaming rights to The Matrix trilogy, The Lego Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the Syfy Superman prequel series Krypton, the TV Land comedy-drama Younger, the Channel 4 sci-fi series Humans, the E4 sci-fi comedy-drama Misfits, the Audience Network drama Kingdom, and the BBC Two miniseries Wolf Hall among others. Everything from Hooq has disappeared off Disney+ Hotstar too, naturally. It remains to be seen what will be picked up by others in the time to come.


Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.

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