On Monday, AT&T announced the merger of its subsidiary Warner Media with media group Discovery. The goal: to compete with the streaming giants SVOD and to establish itself more durably on the market.
The union of Warner Media and the Discovery group was formalized Monday by AT&T. The two entities will merge to create a new company, the name of which has not yet been revealed. The deal calls for Warner Media subsidiaries like Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO Max and DC Films to be merged with Discovery’s like HGTV, Animal Planet, Food Network and Discovery Channel. This new agreement comes less than 5 years after the acquisition of Time Warner (Warner Media) by AT&T. An anti-trust lawsuit was then carried out and AT&T was finally successful. This new conglomerate will no longer be directly linked to the company specializing in telecommunications. It pockets the passage more than 43 billion dollars, while investors will recover 71% of the shares of the new entity. Discovery shareholders will be entitled to 29%.
Compete with Disney +
The purpose of this transaction, which will not be effective before 2022, is obviously to compete with Disney +, which had already merged Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. With this new company, Warner undoubtedly intends to merge the two platforms HBO Max and Discovery +. This will allow the group to offer its subscribers a wide selection of content such as DC films, HBO productions, but also Discovery documentaries. If nothing has been formalized for the moment, it will undoubtedly be the direction favored by Warner Media. This will also allow HBO Max to be exported internationally, with the service currently only available in the United States.
No change on the big screen
With the objective of strengthening the library of its services, this new company should not upset the calendars of theatrical releases of Warner Bros. Pictures. As a reminder, until the end of 2021, all films from the studios will be offered simultaneously in cinema and on HBO max. In 2022, the firm should return to a more classic distribution, favoring dark rooms.