HBO Max pulls titles before merging with Discovery+


HBO Max | WarnerMedia Pressroom

May Khin

As a cost-cutting budget move, HBO has pulled titles from its streaming platform HBO Max before it merges with Discovery+. Both the company and Discovery+ are owned by Warner Bros, and the merger is expected to take place in the summer of 2023.

The content catalogs will be together under one platform and available on both streaming platforms after the merge, leading both HBO Max and Discovery+ to gain more viewership.

However, some subscribers are not happy with the removal of several shows from the platform,. including 200 episodes of “Sesame Street.” The cancellation of the newly released “Batgirl” caused an uproar among viewers.

Variety reported several Warner Bros. films and HBO shows such as “Vinyl,” “Camping,” “Run” and “Mrs. Fletcher” will be removed from the streaming platform.

Additionally, 20 original HBO Max shows will be pulled, including “Infinity Train,” “12 Dates of Christmas” and Sesame Street spinoff, “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.”

The company hasn’t announced whether those shows would be accessible through DVD or rental services in the future.

“We worked for 5 years to make 100 episodes of animation,” the creator of TV show “Summer Camp Island” Julia Pott said in a Twitter thread. “We worked late into the night, we let ourselves go, we were a family of hardworking artists who wanted to make something beautiful, and HBO Max just pulled them all like we were nothing. Animation is not nothing!”

Acquired titles like “Messy Goes to Okido,” “Mia’s Magic Playground” and “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” are also being taken down.

The largest shareholder in Discovery+ and billionaire media mogul John Malone is supportive of the merger.

“This will still be a relatively huge free cash flow generator,” he said to Hollywood Reporter.  Malone argued that the cost and revenue synergies will exceed $3 to $4 billion per year.

By removing these shows, HBO Max’s executives can cut the expenses immediately and get the cash flow for the merger. The shows that are being pulled are those that did not receive a huge viewership, which weremostly reality TV shows and kids and family entertainment.

HBO Max will get unscripted content from Discovery+, as well as HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet, and will have an entirely new catalog of reality shows.