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Discovery+ And HBO Max Swap Content As Warner Bros. Discovery Reportedly Plans To Restructure

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Discovery+ And HBO Max Swap Content As Warner Bros. Discovery Reportedly Plans To Restructure


Top line

Warner Bros. Discovery announced major swaps between streaming services Discovery+ and HBO Max on Thursday, as the company reportedly mulls a major restructuring that could end with the two streaming platforms being combined into one unified service.

Key Facts

Some programming from Magnolia Network—a venture by HGTV’s Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines—will become available on HBO Max on September 30, in addition to its home on Discovery+, the company said Thursday.

Certain CNN originals like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and the Emmy-nominated series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy will be coming to Discovery+ on August 19, the company said in a statement.

The CNN originals previously lived on CNN+, a standalone paid streaming service that launched in late March after months of speculation but was shut down only a month later.

Key Background

Discovery Inc. and WarnerMedia—which was previously owned by AT&T and included properties like HBO and CNN—merged in April, forming Warner Bros. Discovery. CEO David Zaslav has made major changes across the board since then, like shutting down CNN+ weeks after it launched. HBO also pulled the plug on superhero movie Batgirl Tuesday after spending years and an estimated $90 million to make the film, an abrupt cancellation that was reportedly due to cost-cutting and Zaslav’s strategy of giving movies theatrical releases rather than simply airing them directly on streaming . Meanwhile, Zaslav and other executives have long suggested they plan to combine the company’s two major streaming services—HBO Max and Discovery+—into one wide-ranging platform, although it is not clear when this will be created. On an earnings call in February, Zaslav said “our goal is to compete with the leading streaming services,” but he added he’s not trying to “win the spending war.” Netflix leads the major streaming services—including HBO Max and Disney+—in subscribers, although it lost subscribers for the past two quarters. It was also widely reported Wednesday that major restructuring is coming to HBO Max and Discovery, with layoffs expected at HBO Max, as Zaslav looks for $3 billion in savings he promised to investors.

What To Watch For

Warner Bros. Discovery’s new streaming strategy could be discussed Thursday during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

Big Number

140. That’s how many Emmy nominations HBO and HBO Max programs received last month, more than any other network. The HBO show Succession was the most nominated program.

Further Reading

HBO MAX MIGHT GET MAIMED (The Verge)

Speculation Is on Fire Around HBO Max’s Future, Planned Layoffs in Major Streaming Shake-Up (The Wrap)

Magnolia Network Shows Go to HBO Max and CNN Originals Go to Discovery+ as Warner Bros. Discovery Keeps Streaming Services Separate, For Now (The Hollywood Reporter)

Warner Bros. Cans ‘Batgirl’ (Forbes)

CNN+ Will Shut Down After Only One Month Of Service (Forbes)

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