By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav announced today that HBO Max will change its name to ‘Max’ on May 23, which will reflect the streamer’s new programming mix of both HBO and Discovery shows.
The name change also comes with a new pricing structure:
* The 4K ‘Max Ultimate’ plan, which will also include simultaneous streaming on four devices and no ads, will cost $19.99 a month. Dolby Atmos audio is included on select titles.
* The $15.99 a month plan, which previously included 4K programming, will only deliver 1080p HD programming. No ads with this package. Two simultaneous streams. 5.1 Surround Sound.
* The $9.99 a month plan stays the same — no 4K but you get ads. 1080p video and two simultaneous streams. 5.1 Surround Sound.
While you won’t be able to order HBO as a separate streaming service, Discovery+ will still be available for $4.99 a month with ads and $6.99 with no ads.
To generate enthusiasm for the new name, and pricing, WBD made a slew of programming announcements including plans for a new comedy ‘derived’ from The Big Bang Theory, a new Kate Winslet satirical drama called The Regime as well as trailers and teasers for a new season of True Detective and The Penguin, a continuation of The Batman saga with Colin Farrell as the title character.
WBD is hoping that the mix of HBO’s prestige programming and Discovery’s lifestyle content will make it more competitive with streaming rivals such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus.
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— Phillip Swann