The first massive wave of content removals for HBO Max and Discovery+ began on August 17 and continued through August 21.
The deletions come as a result of ongoing changes at Warner Bros. Discovery, to cut costs, primarily for tax deductions that cost the company $825 million.
Not only have tons of titles been purged from HBO Max and Discovery+, Discovery announced that approximately 70 employees have been laid off, “due to changes in the reality programming department.”
The list included over 55 titles, many of which came from the animation sections.
Shows such as Infinity Train, Close Enough, Generation, Summer Camp Island, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo and over 200 episodes of Sesame Street among many other titles.
Initially, the titles were supposed to leave the service the following week, however, they were all removed the night of. By Friday, all of the roster’s lineup was gone.
These are not the first programming elements that have been removed, as it has been going on since June.
Shows like Final Space, The Last OG and Chad among others without notice.
Earlier in the month, 6 original Max movies were quietly removed following Zaslav’s comments on HBO Max movies and return profits.
While many of these programs are likely to be written off for losses, much of the cuts are tied to a combined service featuring content from HBO Max and Discovery+ that is slated for release next year.
An angry HBO Max spokesperson said: “As we strive to consolidate our catalogs of content on one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery. +.”
However, another possible reason HBO cuts all of these shows is to declutter, as CNBC calls it, where they remove the least-watched shows and compare the clutter to Netflix.
Another possible change that HBO wanted to make is to move away from children’s shows like Elmo and Sesame Street for example.
Shows like Little Ellen have a full season ready and yet it’s not coming out. This also matches what happened to Scoob: Holiday Haunt and Batgirl.
Warner Brothers plans to launch its merger of Discovery+ and HBO Max in 2023.