AT&T, owner of CNN, HBO and Warner Bros, will merge its Warner Media with Discovery creating a new stand-alone streaming giant valued at USD 150 billion.
Discovery President and Chief Executive David Zaslav will lead the proposed new company. AT&T will receive USD 43bn and the new company will be 71% owned by AT&T shareholders and 29% by Discovery.
Warner Bros Entertainment, has the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, and Discovery is dominating cooking, nature and science shows. Warner-owned HBO and HBO Max have 64 million subscribers worldwide while Netflix has 208 million and Disney+ around 100 million.
Discovery says its reach is 88 million US households and that its Discovery+ has 15 million subscribers.
This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” said AT&T chief executive John Stankey.
“It will support the fantastic growth and international launch of HBO Max with Discovery’s global footprint and create efficiencies which can be re-invested in producing more great content to give consumers what they want.”