In an apparent bid to save money on residuals, Warner Bros. Discovery has been removing content from HBO Max. The process began earlier this month with the unceremonious removal of dozens of HBO Max original series and movies such as Vinyl and Camping, and An American Pickle; earlier this week, another 36 titles disappeared from the platform.
Now, in an especially egregious affront to parents of young children, WBD has removed over 200 classic Sesame Street episodes from HBO Max’s library, without warning. HBO Max became the exclusive home of Sesame Street in 2019; in addition to producing new episodes, the streamer hosts the show’s 50-plus-year library.
But as Tough Pigs points out, as of Friday morning, HBO Max’s Sesame Street archive is suddenly barren. Of the 250 episodes from the first show’s 38 seasons that were previously available, only 29 remain.
Also no longer available is the short-lived Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, which ran for two seasons between 2020 and 2021.
WBD previously attributed the removal of HBO Max content as part of a massive overhaul in preparation for an eventual merger with Discovery+. “As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+,” a statement read. “That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.” However, Variety reports that such moves are actually part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s cost cutting measures (upon the merger of the two companies, CEO David Zaslav promised to cut $3 billion in expenses).