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What the End of HBO Max—and the Rise of ‘Max’—Means for Streaming

The rebranded new service will combine HBO Max and Discovery+

A year ago this week, one of the biggest mergers in history finally closed. It was the marriage of Discovery and WarnerMedia, a $43 billion deal that formed what is now known as Warner Bros. Discovery. It wasn't long before the axes fell. A few weeks later, management shut down the news streaming service CNN+. There were thousands of layoffs. Then, in a move that surprised even close observers, it canned the Batgirl movie and started pulling beloved shows like Westworld from HBO Max.

All of this bad news came with promises: New CEO David Zaslav wanted the studio to be making better DC movies. And to keep it focused on theatrical releases, the company would merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into one monster streaming service. At the time, WIRED fretted that it marked the impending demise of HBO Max, which had quickly become one of the most beloved streaming services around. Today the company revealed that the service, which is now simply called Max, will launch on May 23. Friends, the end is near.

As he took the stage during a press event to announce Max, Zaslav repeated the new service's catchphrase, "the one to watch," many times. The idea, he said, was that the melding of all of the company's intellectual property would make the streaming service a home to Batman, Barbie, and Bugs Bunny. Also, House of the Dragon and House Hunters. That's true, but also, that is TV—not HBO Max.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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