HBO pulls out of SXSW as coronavirus outbreak continues

It's yet another company to decide against attending the conference.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson

In the past, HBO has held interactive events at SXSW to promote shows like Westworld. 


Add HBO to the list of companies pulling out of SXSW .

Home Box Office Inc. confirmed Thursday that it won't be participating, noting that parent company WarnerMedia "decided it's best not to move forward with activations at SXSW." 

WarnerMedia and HBO are the latest to opt out of SXSW 2020 amid concerns about the coronavirus and the respiratory illness it causes, called COVID-19. In the past, HBO has staged large interactive events at SXSW to promote shows like Westworld and Game of Thrones

HBO's exit from the annual gathering in Austin, Texas, follows the departure of companies including Amazon, Twitter and Facebook. SXSW organizers are moving forward with the event.

"As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers as our top priority," the SXSW website says. 

Dating back to 1987, SXSW draws more than 400,000 attendees from 105 countries, according to demographics reports from 2019. 

Discovered in December in China, the coronavirus has spread globally, so far killing about 3,350 people and infecting around 98,000.