What the hell is going on with HBO Max? What does this have to do with Discovery+?
HBO Max, the home of hit HBO shows, Warner Bros. and DC Comics movies, along with original series like the Sex and the City revival and How To, is getting some big changes this week as news, the owner plans a new strategy for the broadcaster and its affiliated entertainment brands, including Warner Bros. movie studios, TBS, TNT and CNN.
However, in 2023 summer, starting in the US, Warner Bros. Discovery will begin the process of merging HBO Max with its corporate cousin Discovery+, the reality TV home of Food Network, HGTV, Magnolia Network, TLC and Discovery Channel. This will create one major streaming service owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. But what does this really mean for each service’s subscribers?
We explain why the popular streaming service, with a combined subscription of 92 million households (the majority of which is HBO Max), is changing.
Why is HBO Max changing at all? Why is it bundled with Discovery+?
HBO Max is a streaming service launched by the company formerly known as WarnerMedia, which included premium cable channel HBO, as well as programming from cable networks including TBS, TNT and CNN, and the Warner Bros. movie studio. WarnerMedia was formerly owned by AT&T, but in 2021 the conglomerate announced that it would spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery, the company that includes networks such as Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network and streaming service Discovery+. The merger became official in April, and the new company is now called Warner Bros. Discovery”.
The deal put HBO Max under new management with its own ideas of what HBO Max should be. CEO David Zaslav confirmed what management had said earlier on Thursday’s earnings call with investors: “Warner Bros. Discovery plans to eventually merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into one. “Our top priority is to launch an integrated (broadcast) service,” he said. The service will be launched in the US in 2023. in the summer (and later in other markets), and the company will announce more precise information in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the Discovery+ portion links to HBO Max and vice versa.
More:The 50 Best TV Shows on HBO Max
What Discovery shows are coming to HBO Max? Magnolia, etc
HBO Max is getting a big addition from its new corporate cousin: Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network.
HBO Max announced Thursday that “Selected Content” from Magnolia, currently streaming on Discovery+, will be coming to HBO Max on Sept. 30, including “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines” and all five seasons of the original Fixer Upper. The Gaines’ latest episode, Fixer Upper: The Castle, will air simulcast on the Magnolia Network, HBO Max and Discovery+ on October 14.
What about Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max?
News broke Wednesday that Warner Bros. has pulled the plug on a planned and largely completed Batgirl movie that was set to premiere on the service, along with DC Comics’ Wonder Twins and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, which previously had it to do holiday season.
In addition to the canceled movies, fans and reporters noticed on Thursday that six original HBO Max movies were removed from the platform, including Moonshot starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor and Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle. (The titles are still available for purchase on video-on-demand sites).
When it comes to earnings, Zaslav was adamant that he doesn’t believe in releasing movies straight to streaming. “We take a different view on direct-to-streaming and have taken steps to correct our previous strategy,” he said, referring to previous CEO Jason Kilar’s plan to offer original movies on HBO Max.
More:Batgirl star Leslie Grace pays tribute to fans after Warner Bros. cut $90 million
What other changes might be coming? First, CNN goes to Discovery+.
Discovery+ announced Thursday that CNN programs such as Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell will be available on Discovery+ on August 19. on the new CNN Originals. “center. (Bourdain’s first travel and food show, No Reservations, was already on Discovery+, having originally aired on The Travel Channel.) Earlier this year, Warner Bros. Discovery executives pulled the plug on the CNN+ streaming service after just a month .
As for other changes, kids and family programming is no longer a priority for the new company. CFO Gunnar Weidenfels mentioned that they are unlikely to pursue new projects, even though the company has a content library ranging from Looney Tunes to Animaniacs.
Zaslav also addressed concerns that HBO would cut back on its programming. “We’re going to spend significantly more on the HBO Max product,” he said. “We’re going to spend more money on content. We’re a content company.” (He did not clarify whether this means fewer but more expensive shows).
More:The 10 Best Discovery+ TV Shows: From 90 Day Fiancé to Mythbusters to Anthony Bourdain