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the streamer formerly known as HBO Max

HBO Max may just be called 'Max' after merging with Discovery+

It's not TV, and it's not HBO Max. It's just ... Max. 

Warner Bros. Discovery plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service next year, and a new report may reveal its name. The merged streaming platform is expected to simply be called "Max," according to CNBC, which said the company's lawyers are vetting this name but that it could still be changed. 

HBO Max launched in May 2020 as a streamer combining various WarnerMedia brands, though there was initially confusion about how it was different from the since-retired services HBO Go and HBO Now. Two years later, WarnerMedia merged with Discovery in 2022, and in August, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced HBO Max will be combined with another streaming service now owned by the company, Discovery+. 

Discovery+ is the home of unscripted content from brands like HGTV, the Food Network, and TLC, and a tab of CNN originals was launched following the collapse of CNN+. During an earnings call in August, executive JB Perrette described the two services as "unique and complementary," with HBO Max offering "appointment viewing" while Discovery+ offers "comfort viewing." 

As for the reasoning behind the new name, CNBC's report notes some executives feared HBO Max "may eventually dilute" the HBO brand, leading consumers to associate everything on the service with the HBO network itself. In the new combined streamer, HBO will reportedly be one of several "hubs" alongside brands like Discovery and DC Comics, similar to the way Disney+ has hubs for Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. 

The combined streamer is expected to launch in spring 2023.