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Posted (edited)

Executives at AT&T and Discovery Inc. are in active discussion of combining assets for a merger between the latter company and the former's WarnerMedia. An announcement may come within the coming days, with unidentified sources close to the talks pointing to a done deal.

https://deadline.com/2021/05/att-discovery-warnermedia-merger-media-assets-hbo-max-streaming-1234757836/

 

UPDATE (5/17): The merger is officially announced.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/05/17/att-to-combine-warnermedia-and-discovery-assets-to-create-a-new-standalone-company.html

 

UPDATE 2 (6/1): It has a name -- Warner Bros. Discovery

https://deadline.com/2021/06/discovery-merged-company-to-be-called-warner-bros-discovery-1234767195/

Edited by Action Newsroom
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Hopefully you'll just trust me, because I don't have the tweet handy, but a reputable source in CNN's design department confirmed that this is a placeholder. They just needed a wordmark for a presenta

I'm hoping for Disco Brothers. Maybe they can get the BeeGees involved somehow.

I understood the Discovery/Scripps Networks Interactive merger, because there was strong affinity between their families of networks.   In contrast, there's really no affinity between Warner

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The original report from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-16/at-t-is-said-in-talks-to-combine-content-assets-with-discovery-kor6r2uj?srnd=premium

 

From the sound of that, AT&T will spin-off WarnerMedia into a separate entity that will merge with Discovery Inc. 

AT&T/WarnerMedia previously talked merger with NBCUniversal. What a mess of spaghetti that would've been.

 

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Posted (edited)

I understood the Discovery/Scripps Networks Interactive merger, because there was strong affinity between their families of networks.

 

In contrast, there's really no affinity between WarnerMedia and Discovery, and as a result, I'm a little puzzled by this. The only reason I see that AT&T is approaching Discovery with this deal is because both Disney and Comcast would have anti-trust issues to deal with, and there really isn't too many other companies left, other than Discovery.

Edited by LoadStar
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If WarnerMedia/Discovery separates from AT&T, that could be bad news for AT&T customers, who have been handed WarnerMedia content (including HBOmax) on a silver platter.  That could be a deal-breaker and customers could defect to other providers (if they even have a choice to!)

 

On the flipside, is the brand new Discovery+, which is being re-sold through Verizon for their customers with a free year trial.  This could mean a shakedown of the streaming services (and their alliances) if there is more consolidation afoot on the content end.

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Two of the key components of this deal that has not been mentioned yet in this thread are the recent NHL deal that Turner signed. Which does include HBO Max streaming rights, that deal may have to be reworked depending upon what's included in the WarnerMedia deal and what's not or it might not be reworked at all. I think a lot of that depends on which assets Malone/Discovery wants from AT&T.

 

The 2nd one, this goes back to that "Malone" refrence. John Malone is what I believe to be one of the drivers of these talks and he's much more of a bigger factor in all of this than what's being said. His Liberty Media company owns the Braves (who used to play its games on Turner).

 

There's just so many things that I could say about this deal but I'll reserve it for the Speculation boards.

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5 hours ago, LoadStar said:

I understood the Discovery/Scripps Networks Interactive merger, because there was strong affinity between their families of networks.

 

In contrast, there's really no affinity between WarnerMedia and Discovery, and as a result, I'm a little puzzled by this. 

Discovery is trying to diversify its portfolio. It doesn't have any scripted/entertainment cable networks in the US, which makes its streaming service pretty niche. But buying/merging with Warner,  Discovery can reach a more mainstream audience than it does now and it'll make Discovery+ more appealing to more people. 

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3 hours ago, dman748 said:

Two of the key components of this deal that has not been mentioned yet in this thread are the recent NHL deal that Turner signed. Which does include HBO Max streaming rights, that deal may have to be reworked depending upon what's included in the WarnerMedia deal and what's not or it might not be reworked at all. I think a lot of that depends on which assets Malone/Discovery wants from AT&T.

Discovery has a lot of sports rights in Eurasia (including B-rights for the Olympics across Europe and Eurosport) that most of North America has never heard about, so the deal is more natural than you'd think, especially for TNT's golf rights for their GolfTV service.

 

But really, this sounds like more of AT&T still never figuring out why they really needed Warner and Turner outside 'streaming, I guess'; it's DirecTV and U-verse all over again (and they'll have to make new licensing deals once DirecTV is spun off anyways).

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9 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

Discovery has a lot of sports rights in Eurasia (including B-rights for the Olympics across Europe and Eurosport) that most of North America has never heard about, so the deal is more natural than you'd think, especially for TNT's golf rights for their GolfTV service.

 

But really, this sounds like more of AT&T still never figuring out why they really needed Warner and Turner outside 'streaming, I guess'; it's DirecTV and U-verse all over again (and they'll have to make new licensing deals once DirecTV is spun off anyways).

Which technically puts Turner back in the Olympics broadcasting game at least internationally.

 

They would definitely bolster its international sports presence with this deal

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26 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

Discovery has a lot of sports rights in Eurasia (including B-rights for the Olympics across Europe and Eurosport) that most of North America has never heard about, so the deal is more natural than you'd think, especially for TNT's golf rights for their GolfTV service.

I don't think TNT has any more golf (outside of those made-for-TV The  Match events). The PGA Championship moved to ESPN last year,  and I think that was Turner's last golf tournament. And even if Turner did still have golf,  wouldn't it be US-only? Probably didn't have any international rights that would have helped GolfTV since it's not available in the US. 

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1 hour ago, ScottJ said:

I don't think TNT has any more golf (outside of those made-for-TV The  Match events). The PGA Championship moved to ESPN last year,  and I think that was Turner's last golf tournament.

I completely forgot that and stand corrected about the PGA Championship...though if there's any trouble to come with the current PGA rights deals or NBC would retract the wireline Golf Channel like they're doing NBCSN, it seems like GolfTV would be ready to make an American splash.

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  • Action Newsroom changed the title to The Merger of WarnerMedia & Discovery Inc.
1 hour ago, ColtFromGulfcoast said:

Who exactly would be the surviving company?

Looks to be mostly WarnerMedia. AT&T shareholders will own 71% of the company, while Discovery will own 29%. AT&T will appoint 7 board members, while Discovery will appoint 6.

 

That said, Discovery CEO David Zaslav will run the new company.

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Posted (edited)

You know who's getting the real last laugh in all of this? Former Antitrust Division leader Makan Delrahim.

 

He was one that sued AT&T & Time Warner to get the deal blocked in 2016 because he thought the deal was too massive. He lost the case and lost the appeal.

 

With all of that mountainous amount of debt they've accumulated after getting DirecTV & Time Warner, now they have to spin-off DirecTV and now WarnerMedia. And AT&T would probably still be in a heavy load of debt after the spin-offs are completed.

 

On 5/17/2021 at 8:58 AM, Georgie56 said:

The official press release.

 

AT&T is getting $43 billion in cash from this.

 

AT&T bought TW for $85B. They're pocketing just over half of that amount.

 

 

Edited by CircleSeven
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It should be very interesting to see how CNN is affected by this merger.  I wonder if the merged company will seek to move CNN to a more politically balanced hard news approach.

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17 minutes ago, TheRyan said:

It should be very interesting to see how CNN is affected by this merger.  I wonder if the merged company will seek to move CNN to a more politically balanced hard news approach.


The editorial independence CNN currently has under AT&T would continue under the new company per Zaslav.

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23 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

If WarnerMedia/Discovery separates from AT&T, that could be bad news for AT&T customers, who have been handed WarnerMedia content (including HBOmax) on a silver platter.  That could be a deal-breaker and customers could defect to other providers (if they even have a choice to!)

 

On the flipside, is the brand new Discovery+, which is being re-sold through Verizon for their customers with a free year trial.  This could mean a shakedown of the streaming services (and their alliances) if there is more consolidation afoot on the content end.

 Warner Media provides HBO Max for free to most subscribers to HBO across the country.  It is not unique to AT&T Uverse or DirecTV customers.  It's the model Paramount+, Peacock, Disntey+ etc should also follow.  Cable/Sat customers aren't going away and are alway paying for content.  If someone cuts the cord then yes, it is appropriate for them to pay.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, NowBergen said:

 Warner Media provides HBO Max for free to most subscribers to HBO across the country.  It is not unique to AT&T Uverse or DirecTV customers.  It's the model Paramount+, Peacock, Disntey+ etc should also follow.  Cable/Sat customers aren't going away and are alway paying for content.  If someone cuts the cord then yes, it is appropriate for them to pay.

 

AT&T offers HBO Max free for subscribers to their highest-tiered plans. We have their Internet 1000 plan and we get HBO Max free for as long as we're subscribed to the former.

 

We're also U-verse TV customers, so we get the HBO multiplex and HBO On Demand included, as well. 

Edited by Georgie56
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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, ScottJ said:

Discovery is trying to diversify its portfolio. It doesn't have any scripted/entertainment cable networks in the US, which makes its streaming service pretty niche. But buying/merging with Warner,  Discovery can reach a more mainstream audience than it does now and it'll make Discovery+ more appealing to more people. 

 

I think one thing attractive here is the CW. Discovery can add additional 'unscripted' programming to the CW and reduce the production costs while increasing revenue. The CW is still such a minor network that the amount of scripted programming it has is expensive compared to it's ratings. So it has a way thin margins. I think Discovery can boost that. I also wouldn't be surprised if Scripps spins off their networks again and Discovery, along with the vast library of WarnerMedia, buys that up too. Considering how many libraries they have and the studio accessibility, owning those assets as well would make sense.

 

With regard to the name:

 

DISCOVERY World Globe Logo Clip Art Black And White 191713 - Map Clipart Black And White World - Png Download (600x588), Png Download WARNER

Edited by ABC 7 Denver
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1 hour ago, jase said:


The editorial independence CNN currently has under AT&T would continue under the new company per Zaslav.

Jeff Zucker should be sent off to the Discovery side, then maybe CNN may have some hope of becoming a viable source of news again.

I know that everything he touches turns to garbage, but how much worse can the Discovery networks get at this point?

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