Discovery and AT&T’s WarnerMedia are to create a standalone company by combining operations to form a new global leader in entertainment.
The move will combine WarnerMedia’s premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading non-fiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.
The companies expect the partnership will create substantial value for AT&T and Discovery by:
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- Bringing together the strongest leadership teams, content creators, and high-quality series and film libraries in the media business.
- Accelerating both companies’ plans for leading direct-to-consumer streaming services for global consumers.
- Uniting complementary and diverse content strengths with broad appeal — WarnerMedia’s robust studios and portfolio of iconic scripted entertainment, animation, news and sports with Discovery’s global leadership in unscripted and international entertainment and sports.
- Forming a new company that will have significant scale and investment resources.
- Enabling the new company to increase its investment in content and digital innovation, and to scale its global direct-to-consumer business.
A stronger competitor in global streaming
The new company will compete globally in the fast-growing direct-to-consumer business — bringing compelling content to DTC subscribers across its portfolio, including HBO Max and the recently launched discovery+.
The transaction will combine WarnerMedia’s storied content library of popular and valuable IP with Discovery’s global footprint, trove of local-language content and deep regional expertise across more than 200 countries and territories.
The new company will be able to invest in more original content for its streaming services, enhance the programming options across its global linear pay TV and broadcast channels, and offer more innovative video experiences and consumer choices.
Uniting dynamic, enduring and historic brands and franchises
The “pure play” content company will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of iconic programming and will bring together over 100 of the most cherished, popular and trusted brands in the world under one global portfolio, including: HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and many more.
The new company will be able to increase investment and capabilities in original content and programming; create more opportunity for under-represented storytellers and independent creators; serve customers with innovative video experiences and points of engagement; and propel more investment in high-quality, family-friendly non-fiction content.
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The companies announced that Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the proposed new company with a best-in-class management team and top operational and creative leadership from both companies.
"During my many conversations with John, we always come back to the same simple and powerful strategic principle: these assets are better and more valuable together," Zaslav said.
"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. With a library of cherished IP, dynamite management teams and global expertise in every market in the world, we believe everyone wins… consumers with more diverse choices, talent and storytellers with more resources and compelling pathways to larger audiences, and shareholders with a globally scaled growth company committed to a strong balance sheet that is better positioned to compete with the world’s largest streamers.
"We will build a new chapter together with the creative and talented WarnerMedia team and these incredible assets built on a nearly 100-year legacy of the most wonderful storytelling in the world. That will be our singular mission: to focus on telling the most amazing stories and have a ton of fun doing it."
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