HBO Max and Discovery Plus Set to Relaunch as Merged ‘Max’ Service

July 11, 2022: HBO Max application available on Google Play Store for Android — Photo by chetroni/Deposit Photos

Another big change is coming to the streaming world, with the long-planned merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ to form “Max.”

The new platform is set to launch in the U.S. on May 23, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday.

“Max” will include Warner Bros. films, HBO Originals like The Sopranos, HBO Max content, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with reality and unscripted programs from Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID, and OWN.

The media giant announced a string of new content will be coming to the platform, including a Max Original Harry Potter series; the HBO Original Game of Thrones prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight; a Max Original drama series based on The Conjuring films; Magnolia Network’s Fixer Upper: The Hotel; Investigation Discovery’s Lost Women of Highway 20; and TLC’s Love & Translation.

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The combined streaming service comes in three tiers — a $15.99 monthly plan allowing 2 concurrent streams; a $19.99 monthly plan with 4 concurrent streams, and a $9.99 monthly plan with advertisements that will allow 2 concurrent streams.

Existing HBO Max customers will pay the same subscription price they already have and can get more information at http://help.hbomax.com/introducingMax.

The goal is for the combined streaming platform to better compete with Netflix and Disney+.

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.”