HBO Max will cease new original programming in parts of Europe and the company will also shut down Cinemax’s TV Everywhere platform, Cinemax Go, as its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery moves through a restructuring.
As reported by Variety on Monday, HBO Max originals like Hungarian drama “The Informant,” Swedish comedy “Lust” and “Kamikaze” from Denmark will be removed from the service in European territories such as Central Europe, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.
On July 31, Warner Bros. Discovery is shuttering the free streaming service Cinemax Go, which simplifies the number of streaming services in its portfolio.
The changes will save money for the company, keeping it on track for its previously revealed cost-cutting plan that has a target of $3 billion in savings. The company has a debt load of around $55 billion and its share price has steadily dropped since the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, with its current market cap sitting at approximately $34.29 billion.
In regard to the removal of European programming, the company told Variety, “As we continue to work on combining HBO Max and Discovery+ into one global streaming service showcasing the breadth of content across Warner Bros. Discovery, we are reviewing our current content proposition on the existing services.”
The upcoming integration of Discovery+ content into the HBO Max platform continues to be the priority, and removing content is a strategic move. While other services like Netflix and Disney+ focus on international programming as a way to increase their subscribers, Warner Bros. Discovery is concentrating on trimming costs.
Variety’s report indicates that shows that are already in production or have previously been green-lit will continue. Also, originals in Spain and France have been spared and will not receive the same fate as the original content in the aforementioned European territories.
The decision to sunset Cinemax Go entirely is a given since subscribers can no longer use the app on iOS or Android devices, and instead have to go to the site via desktop.
Cinemax Go is a streaming service that is free to users with a Cinemax subscription through a pay TV provider. The purpose of it is to allow subscribers to watch content on the go. However, when HBO Max launched in 2020, Cinemax Go’s app was removed from mobile devices. The Cinemax Go app used to be called Max GO so the removal was likely done to prevent confusion from the two services.
Original programming for Cinemax Go is no longer produced, which has been the case since 2020. There are only seven shows on the platform, including “Banshee,” “The Knick,” “Hunted,” “Jett,” “Quarry,” “Trackers” and “Warrior.” Four shows — “Banshee,” “Jett,” “The Knick” and “Warrior” — are already available on HBO Max, as are many of the Cinemax films, making the need for Cinemax Go more obsolete.
When Cinemax Go officially leaves at the end of this month, subscribers can use their traditional TV subscription to watch content on either Cinemax, the HBO-owned TV network or its other linear channels — MoreMax, 5StarMax, ActionMax, Cinemáx, MovieMax, OuterMax and ThrillerMax — or on-demand.
Warner Bros. Discovery has undergone significant restructuring since the merger closed in April, and CEO David Zaslav has left no stone unturned as he looks to get under budget as fast as possible. Not only was CNN+ eradicated less than a month after launching, but the company also scrapped film and TV projects, including passing on J.J. Abrams’ $250 million HBO show “Demimonde.” CEO Zaslav also eliminated multiple layers of executives since taking the helm.
The streaming world has been looking a bit bleak lately. Netflix continues to struggle with budget cuts that involve over 400 employees and contractors losing their jobs. More layoffs are expected with HBO Max as well, due to the news that original programming in the European region is ending.