AT&T in talks to spin off WarnerMedia for merger with Discovery

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 16
AT&T intends to break off its media arm and merge the assets with Discovery, in what could be a bid to strengthen the organization against streaming rivals such as Netflix, Disney, and Apple.




AT&T is believed to be preparing to make a deal with Discovery that could create a new media behemoth, one that could be announced within the next week. If agreed, the deal would see AT&T spin off its media assets from the rest of the company, and then those assets would be combined with Discovery into a new entity.

According to sources of Bloomberg, the two organizations are still negotiating the structure of the transaction, and it could still collapse at this late stage.

The deal would create an organization that combines the properties owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia unit and Discovery. WarnerMedia includes CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, and the Warner Bros. studio, while Discovery controls networks including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, and Animal Planet.

If true, the deal would see AT&T cast off its media assets, which it acquired in an $85 billion acquisition in 2018. At the time, the deal made one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, something the new arrangement will also produce.

The move could give the two organizations a major leg up in the streaming stakes. While WarnerMedia contols HBO Max, Discovery also has its own streaming service called Discovery+.

A merger could potentially lead to the two services joining together into a single platform down the road, or at least some synergies between them.

Currently, the streaming landscape is dominated by Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, but it also includes Apple with its Apple TV+ service. Though the introduction of HBO Max may be a worry for some streaming services, a join-up with Discovery will form a serious competitor.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    lumineuxlumineux Posts: 7member
    CNBC is part of NBC which is owned by Comcast. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    lumineux said:
    CNBC is part of NBC which is owned by Comcast. 
    Where do you even see CNBC discussed?
  • Reply 3 of 7
    diz_geekdiz_geek Posts: 33member
    lumineux said:
    CNBC is part of NBC which is owned by Comcast. 
    Where do you even see CNBC discussed?
    I was kind of wondering the same thing…
  • Reply 4 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,319member
    If AT&T can’t figure out how to run Warner I wish Apple could acquire it and merge it with...surprise!... Netflix!

    Keep AppleTV+ as an all exclusive content club and make money off its biggest rival in a deal.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 509member
    What needs to happen is a complete industry split-up.

    The law should separate content production, content distribution, internet service, and hardware production into separate companies.  What we have is a mess, and it needs to be fixed.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 659member
    darkvader said:
    What needs to happen is a complete industry split-up.

    The law should separate content production, content distribution, internet service, and hardware production into separate companies.  What we have is a mess, and it needs to be fixed.
    You are not wrong. But some customers will pay more because of lack of bundle deal. And the channels will have less money to fund their programming.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    lumineuxlumineux Posts: 7member
    lumineux said:
    CNBC is part of NBC which is owned by Comcast. 
    Where do you even see CNBC discussed?
    Original article said CNBC. Looks like the article was corrected, and it now says CNN. 
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