Another big change is coming to the streaming world, with an official announcement expected Wednesday on the long-planned merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ to form “Max.”
The new platform would include classic HBO scripted shows like The Sopranos and Discovery’s reality and unscripted programs such as Fixer Upper and OWN’s Love & Marriage: Huntsville, according to a Tuesday report by The New York Times.
The combined streaming service is expected to cost about $16 a month, with a less expensive tier available with advertisements.
Parent company Warner Bros. Discovery hopes that by combining the separate streaming platforms, the merged service will be better suited to compete with Netflix and Disney+.
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The joint “Max” service is the result of last year’s controversial $43 billion merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia — forming the massive Warner Bros. Discovery.
The mega-merger led to widespread job losses, the closure of the CNN+ streaming service; the shelving of movies and TV shows that were already shot — including the film Batgirl; and cancellations of planned movies like Wonder Woman 3 and a Black Adam sequel, reportedly for tax write-offs.
On April 7, four congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Justice Department calling for an investigation of the merger.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said the merger “appears to have enabled” Warner Bros. Discovery to “adopt potentially anticompetitive practices that reduce consumer choice and harm workers in affected labor markets.”
“Following the merger, WBD announced numerous labor-force reductions and product cancellations that would limit consumer and worker choice—cancelling several titles, including Batgirl, which was deep into post-production, Gordita Chronicles, Demimonde, and The Time Traveler’s Wife,” the letter states. “WBD’s aggressive measures post-merger indicate that current competition in the media and entertainment industry is inadequate. The company has the incentive and ability to eliminate broad swaths of its workforce, leaving workers with fewer choices for employment and advancement. The Department should investigate the competitive consequences of this merger.”
HBO Max and Discovery+ to Relaunch as Merged ‘Max’ Service
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