Will Magnolia Network Move to HBO Max from discovery+ Following Merger?
Don’t look now, but HBO Max might be getting an infusion of shiplap in the near future. On Thursday, Variety reported that the Magnolia Network, a partnership between beloved Waco, Tex.-based renovation stars Chip and Joanna Gaines and Discovery Inc., will be moving to HBO following the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia; or at least it will from an organizational perspective.
The Magnolia Network will now be overseen by HBO and HBO Max chief Casey Bloys — one of the few WarnerMedia executives to keep his position post-merger — despite the fact that its linear channel has deep ties to Discovery’s cable brand and has its own hub inside the discovery+ app.
While Bloys will be overseeing the Magnolia Network, he will have no involvement with discovery+ in the consolidated company’s hierarchy. Those responsibilities will fall under the purview of Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO and President of Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment JB Perrette. So, there appears to be a disconnect between the network’s status in the newly formed company and something will have to give.
Variety notes that no decisions have been announced as to where the Magnolia Network will stream following the finalization of the merger next week, but Warner Bros. Discovery’s current plan is to bundle, and then merge, discovery+ and HBO Max.
A source told Variety, “The general rationale behind the decision seems to be a mix of Chip and Joanna’s star power and the elevated nature of Magnolia’s original content.”
While Magnolia’s original programming falls under the same general umbrellas as other Discovery and discovery+ shows — home renovation, cooking, gardening, etc. — the gravitas provided by the years of goodwill built up between the Gainses and their audience provides an added air of quality and sophistication that would make it feel like an authentic addition to HBO Max’s more sophisticated offerings.
If the ultimate goal is to merge the two streaming platforms in the relatively near future, it would seem counterproductive for Bloys to pull the Gainses’ content off of discovery+. Not only could it anger some subscribers, but it could sour them on the future unified service as well, making whatever temporary revenue gains that the company gets from customers signing up for HBO Max in order to stream Magnolia programming seem small in the long-term streaming plans for the company.
Magnolia Network is a TV channel that you can watch with a live TV streaming service.