HBO Max to stop original production in some European countries

Warner Bros Discovery will stop producing HBO Max originals in several European countries and is in the process of removing several series as part of a broader cost-cutting move, the company affirmed this week.

The streaming service will no longer produce original content for global variants of HBO Max offered in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and countries in Central Europe. It will continue to support series production in France and Spain.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the move came as the company seeks to further integrate the content libraries of HBO Max and Discovery Plus.

"As part of this process, we have decided to remove a limited amount of original programming from HBO Max, as well as ceasing our original programming efforts for HBO Max in the Nordics and Central Europe," the spokesperson said, adding that the company had also stopped "development activities" in the Netherlands and Turkey.

The spokesperson affirmed Warner Bros Discovery would continue to commission licensed content for its linear channels in those regions, as well as its streaming services. In addition to its streaming services, Warner Bros Discovery operates localized versions of Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, the Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, TLC and TNT across Europe.

Shows that are currently in production will continue, though some may be sold to other networks or streaming platforms, according to Variety, which first reported on the situation. Others, including the Swedish comedy "Lust" (produced by Miso Films) and Hungarian drama "The Informant" (produced by HBO Europe), will be pulled from the streaming service around the world.

The move is part of a broader strategy to reduce spending by as much as $3 billion by next year. It comes as Warner Bros Discovery has issued pink slips domestically and internationally in order to eliminate redundancies across its various media divisions. Last month, reports surfaced that indicated Warner Bros Discovery would eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs within its global ad sales force.

Warner Bros Discovery was the result of a blockbuster $43 billion merger between AT&T's WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. that was consummated in April. Shortly after the merger was completed, CEO David Zaslav said the company would not "overspend to drive subscriber growth" to HBO Max and Discovery Plus.

"Our goal is to maximize long term shareholder value and asset value, not just subs," Zaslav said.