Here’s why HBO Max is pulling dozens of films and TV series

Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max is eradicating 36 films and TV series from its platform. There are three fundamental causes why it is taking place.

The films and series − which embody 20 unique HBO Max exhibits akin to teen drama “Generation,” and “Sesame Street” spinoff “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo” − might be eliminated by finish of Friday. The choice comes forward of Warner Bros. Discovery plans to mix Discovery+ with HBO Max into a brand new service that can launch within the U.S. in mid-2023.

“As we work toward bringing our content catalogs under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery+. That will include the removal of some content from both platforms,” an HBO Max spokesman mentioned in a press release.

It could seem unusual for HBO Max to take away series it particularly made for the platform − streaming providers are full of little-watched exhibits and films. But for Warner Bros. Discovery, there are three fundamental motivations behind the cuts: slashing prices, transferring away from content material geared toward youngsters and households and decluttering the service.

Cost chopping

While HBO Max already paid for the manufacturing of these exhibits, it is nonetheless on the hook for residuals, together with so-called back-end funds to forged, crew and writers, based mostly on long-term viewership metrics.

By eradicating these films and exhibits, particularly those HBO Max created relatively than licensed, executives can lower bills instantly. Warner Bros. Discovery has promised at the least $3 billion in synergies stemming from the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, introduced in May.

The content material eliminations in whole will save “tens of millions of dollars,” in line with two folks accustomed to the matter, who requested to not be named as a result of the funds are personal.

The reasoning is not the identical as why superhero film “Batgirl” was scrapped earlier this month. That choice took benefit of a change-of-strategy merger tax profit that allowed for writing off incomplete initiatives. The HBO Max exhibits already launched and have been on the service, so they do not apply for that profit.

Warner Bros. may also probably license the programming it has eliminated by promoting it to a different streaming supplier, including income by substracting content material. That could give a second life to at the least some of the exhibits and films pulled from HBO Max.

Eschewing youngsters and household

Most of what HBO Max is pulling is both actuality TV or youngsters and household content material. (A full checklist of eliminated content material is on the finish of this story).

HBO Max will get its unscripted content material from Discovery, which can add almost its complete catalog of actuality TV, together with from HGTV, Food Network and Animal Plant, to the mixed service subsequent 12 months. HBO Max laid off 14% of its employees earlier this week, together with many from its unscripted division.

The transfer away from youngsters and household content material is new. HBO Max executives determined viewers are merely not going to the service to look at youngsters programming. Even “Sesame Street,” which HBO Max acquired in 2019 in a five-year deal, is not pulling robust numbers, in line with folks accustomed to the matter. That prompted the elimination of “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo” and the elimination of about 200 again episodes of the present, the folks mentioned.

HBO makes a speciality of adult-themed content material that skews towards a male viewers. Discovery makes a speciality of adult-themed actuality content material that is watched by extra ladies. While the mixed providers hit each grownup gender demographics, they do not goal youngsters. Instead of including extra content material to fill that area of interest, Warner Bros. Discovery has determined to maneuver away from the class with its future funding funds, mentioned the folks.


Streaming executives throughout the trade incessantly speak of Netflix having a “discovery” drawback. Netflix has a lot content material, they are saying, that it is arduous to seek for its finest stuff. While Netflix tries to mitigate this with algorithms and Top 10 lists, the service has lots of of exhibits that get misplaced within the shuffle as a result of there’s a lot content material gumming up the search course of.

Everything getting pulled from “HBO Max” was sometimes watched, in line with folks accustomed to the matter.

With the approaching addition of Discovery+ content material, Warner Bros. Discovery executives are involved HBO Max could get slowed down with little-watched films and exhibits. That might trigger viewers to affiliate the service with having quite a bit of stuff they do not need to watch — the “Netflix problem,” mentioned one HBO Max government, who requested to not be named as a result of the choice was personal.

Traditional pay-TV has additionally struggled with the issue. Cable TV has ballooned in value, averaging about $100 monthly, whereas including extra and extra poorly considered cable networks over time. The outcome is that prospects have been rejecting cable TV in droves.

This threat of having an excessive amount of content material is one of the explanations Disney has traditionally stored Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu separate. Disney executives have lengthy felt shoppers pays a lower cost for a extra tailor-made expertise.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav could need to increase the value for a mixed HBO Max-Discovery+ providing, particularly as opponents Disney and Netflix have not too long ago raised costs. Eliminating little watched content material, whereas including a slew of new Discovery + content material, might assist justify the rise.


HBO Max introduced the next series might be eliminated this week:

12 Dates of Christmas

About Last Night

Aquaman: King of Atlantis

Close Enough

Detention Adventure


Ellen’s Next Great Designer

Elliott From Earth

Esme & Roy

The Fungies! 

Generation Hustle 


Infinity Train

Little Ellen 

Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart

Messy Goes to Okido

Mia’s Magic Playground

Mighty Magiswords

My Dinner with Herve

My Mom, Your Dad


OK Okay.O.! – Let’s Be Heroes

The Ollie & Moon Show

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness

Select Sesame Street Specials 

Make It Big, Make It Small



Summer Camp Island

The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo 

The Runaway Bunny – Special


Tig n’ Seek 

Uncle Grandpa

Victor and Valentino

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

 WATCH: Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav speaks to CNBC about his technique


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