AT&T To Spin Off WarnerMedia And Merge It With Discovery
Call it Harry Potter tries to make magic with the Food Network.
AT&T announced that it will spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery Inc. The $43 billion deal will create a new, as yet unnamed, company that will combine WarnerMedia's entertainment, sports and news with Discovery's nonfiction and entertainment shows.
AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner in 2016 was meant to help position the company in the streaming wars. But with Netflix and Disney spending billions of dollars a year on content, competition is tough. Discovery+ recently announced its streaming services combined have 15 million subscribers. Netflix has 208 million "paid memberships." This deal aims to create a company to compete better in the global streaming wars, the company said, by accelerating "HBO Max and discovery+'s global plans for direct-to-consumer."
Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new media company. At a press conference Monday, he said the combined company will spend $20 billion on content. AT&T CEO John Stankey said the deal will allow AT&T to focus on investing in 5G and fiber to improve broadband connectivity.