Matt Buckler: HBO Max, Discovery to join forces

·3 min read

Aug. 5—HBO Max and Discovery Plus seem to be at different ends of the streaming spectrum. HBO Max is the home of high-budget TV series and movies, while Discovery Plus is filled with niche programming such as "Deadliest Catch" and "Gold Rush."

Even though the networks appeal to different audiences, they will soon by joined at the hip. Variety is among those to report that the two networks will be merging next summer, a move that few people in the TV industry anticipated.

The reason for the merge is obvious — the one network fits all philosophy. The new network will have programming for everyone in the family, so there will be less reason for customers to drop the channel.

The HBO Max/Discovery Plus combination doesn't have a name. And it doesn't have a price. But there are lofty goals. At the current time, about 91 million customers subscribe to either HBO, HBO Max, or Discovery Plus. The new network hopes to attract a lot more.

The recent merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery has made a lot of news lately. Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. is dropping its children's programming to save money.

That will leave CPTV as the only dependable place that specializes in quality children's programming.

In all likelihood, Warner Bros. and Discovery aren't done making changes. Remember, there was only one real reason behind the merger — to make more money. And every upcoming move will be made to achieve that goal.

Scully tributes

If there was anyone who wasn't a fan of the late Vin Scully, he doesn't have a social media account. For the past few days, Twitter and Facebook have been jammed with tributes for the man who was the voice of the Dodgers — and the voice of baseball — for 67 years.

Here's a tribute that actually was in the letters to the editor column in Sports Illustrated. A reader said that he would turn on a Dodgers game and could never tell by Scully's tone of voice if the Dodgers were winning or losing. He always called the game the same way.

On Wednesday, I turned on the New York Yankees-Seattle Mariners game in the fourth inning and you could tell by broadcaster Michael Kay's tone that the Yankees were losing before hearing the score.

Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione also has been known to lose his enthusiasm when the Red Sox are behind and almost every other local announcer — with the exception of New York Mets' voice Gary Cohen — is in the same category.

That's what made Scully so great — he was passionate about the game and neutral about the Dodgers.

Sinking CNN

It's been a story that has been developing for a while — the ratings are down for CNN and the profits are down.

According to a story in the New York Times, the profits for CNN are projected to fall below $1 billion this year for the first time since 2016. Apparently making just millions is tough to deal with when you're used to the $1 billion mark.

The ratings haven't been the same since President Donald Trump, who always was a headline waiting to happen, left office.

CNN is doing something about it, According to Variety, it is concentrating on more hard news and fewer debates between liberal and conservative viewpoints.

A news network covering the news — is that what a news network is supposed to do?

Perhaps CNN will never catch up to the Fox News Channel — but it could stop the ratings bleeding by concentrating more on facts than opinions.

Follow Matt Buckler for more television, radio, and sports coverage on the JI's Twitter @journalinquirer, and see his articles on the Journal Inquirer Facebook page.