HBO Max Reportedly Expected To Merge With Discovery+

by Tia Bailey

It was reported earlier this year that streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+ are going to merge. However, the internet has been ablaze with criticism due to upcoming layoffs and cancellations.

The platforms announced the merger in March of this year. “The combination could not make more sense than what we’re doing here. We have HBO Max, with a more premium, male-skewing positioning, and then you’ve got the the female-positioning on the Discovery side,” Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels told Variety earlier in the year.

While subscribers didn’t have any intense opinions about the merger at the time, that has change drastically within the last week. Several reports were made of anticipated mass-layoffs in HBO Max, as well as the axing of movies and series on the platform.

The platform recently announced that they will no longer release the anticipated DC film “Batgirl.”. This came as a huge shock to fans because the film was already in post-production. This is not the only film that they have scrapped either. The streaming service also cancelled the “Scoob!” sequel.

According to Variety, many assume that Discovery+ wanted a “tax write-down.” This is an easy way to get back the costs it took to make the films. “Batgirl” cost $65 million to make, with the Covid-19 costs adding up to make it $90 million.

HBO Max and Discovery+ Merger to Result in Layoffs and Cancellations

People have also reported that the platform will bin all scripted content. This made fans extremely angry as well. A tweet reads: “Okay, here’s the RUMOR re the #WBD presentation on Thursday – #HBOMax will be folded INTO #DiscoveryPlus not vice versa, probably as #HBO tab – getting rid of #HBOMax scripted, overall streaming focusing on unscripted – #HBO stays as is, as a premium cable channel”

One Twitter user responded to this news, saying: “if HBO Max really is folding into Discovery Plus and ditching all the scripted content that might be the single dumbest decision made by any corporation in the streaming age”.

IndieWire reported that the platforms have pulled six original films from HBO Max already, with many more cuts to come. Fans seem to be angry that the merger is getting rid of everything HBO Max. This comes soon after many said they believe it to be the best streaming service at the moment.

The six films already removed include: “Moonshot,” “The Witches,” “Locked Down,” Superintelligence,” “Charm City Kings,” and “An American Pickle.”

A Twitter user wrote: “The crumbling of HBO Max before our eyes is infuriating. Not because we should love HBO unconditionally but because the service has easily the best library of classic shows and movies AND daring originals that never feel like they’re made by algorithms.”

It is unclear at the moment if the layoff rumors are true, or when they will take place.