AT&T Announces $43 Billion Deal to Merge WarnerMedia and Discovery
By Movieguide® Staff
On June 7, AT&T announced a $43 billion deal to merge Warner Media with Discovery.
CNBC reported: “Under the agreement, AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which closed just under three years ago and form a new media company with Discovery.”
This merger seeks to “invest heavily in content for the joint venture, while the cost-cutting potential was high from eliminating duplication in technological and marketing expenses,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This merger will put the new streaming channel in direct competition with the industry’s top competitors like Disney and Netflix.
CNBC further explains that “AT&T said Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company, which will have a new name announced in coming days. The board would consist of 13 members, seven initially appointed by AT&T including the chair, and Discovery would appoint six members, including Zaslav.”
CNN, HBO, Warner Studios, Animal Planet, TLC, and the Discovery Channel are all included in the merge.
David Zaslav, Discovery President and CEO, will head the new company under a new name that has yet to be announced.
“It is super exciting to combine such historic brands, world class journalism and iconic franchises under one roof and unlock so much value and opportunity,” Zaslav said, adding that AT&T and Discovery “are better and more valuable together.”
Zaslav said that the new company would “focus on telling the most amazing stories and have a ton of fun doing it.”
Although the merge seeks to break into streaming, Zaslov did not reveal what that will look like for the company’s future.
“We’re going to do it differently,” Zaslav said. “We will have the flexibility here in the U.S. and around the world to determine how we create the ecosystem around this extraordinary IP … we’ll see over the next few years as we learn about what consumers want and how they want it.”
WarnerMedia’s HBO and HBO Max boast around 64 million global subscribers worldwide, while the newly launched Discovery reported 15 million paying subscribers.
In comparison, media mogul Netflix sits atop all streamers with 208 million total subscribers, and Disney+ posted an impressive 100 million in only one and a half years.