Fans are becoming alarmed by the amount of content leaving the HBO Max catalog in the last week or so. So far, WarnerMedia has not commented on the departures or made an official announcement about them. That hasn't stopped fans from speculating about the reason and mourning their favorite shows to binge-watch.
A number of high-profile departures from HBO Max were first noticed in animation fandoms on social media – which makes sense since WarnerMedia owns Cartoon Network, hosts Studio Ghibli movies in the U.S. and promotes its extensive collection of anime. However, as people began to share news like this across different groups, many began to remark on it as a trend. Grasping for an answer, many fans took a closer look at Warner Media's recent merger with Discovery.
Oh, a biggie here.— CN News/Schedules (@CNschedules) July 1, 2022
Final Space was removed from HBO Max, too.
According to a report by Vulture, those suspicions aren't misplaced. Sources close to the two companies told reporters that they are considering some major changes to HBO Max as they come together – perhaps even a name change. Some reportedly think that HBO Max is a confusing name for the service, possibly scaring off parents and viewers who are not interested in mature or graphic content.
One way or another, insiders say that the plan is to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one big unified streaming service. Considering the size and scope of the latter, it would make sense if they selected some new branding for this venture rather than allowing one service to absorb the other. Sadly, the merger is interrupting a winning streak for HBO Max and fans are not pleased.
Whatever the case, fans have been surprised by some of the big erasures from the HBO Max catalog recently. For starters, content from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim has been disappearing – perhaps most notably the series Final Space. Not only was this show dropped from the streaming catalog, it was removed from the Adult Swim website and YouTube channel. The show was canceled last week, and at the time of this writing, its only presence on the Adult swim website is a few clips.
So why would you remove content you already own from your own network? That still has new content. Come on now. Make it make sense. Who is responsible for this kinda mess up? You don't do that. @hbomax this is a failure. https://t.co/5ruxmYLSWN— DeadFire87 (@DeadFire87) July 2, 2022
Several removals came from TBS and TNT – cable channels owned by WarnerMedia. These included The Last O.G., Snowpiercer, Beforeigners and Amsterdam. A viral post on Reddit speculates that this may have to do with international distribution rights, which could change under the terms of the merger.
Other removals include In Bloom, MaoMao, Wrecked and several more. New examples seem to be cropping up intermittently on social media. Of course, any streaming service catalog will vary depending on your region.