AT&T, Discovery deal highlights media’s thirst to be like Netflix

Since AT&T bought Time Warner in 2018 to compete with Netflix and Disney, the world of streaming video has only gotten more cutthroat.

The telecom giant’s deal with Discovery Inc (DISCA.O), announced Monday, marks the latest shift in the remaking of the media industry and the potential beginning of another round of consolidation. An earlier wave three years ago resulted in media mogul Rupert Murdoch leaving Hollywood and Viacom and CBS recombining. read more

The deal combining Discovery with AT&T Inc’s (T.N) WarnerMedia underscores the value of scale in today’s media landscape, where industry leaders Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) are looking outside the United States for growth.

Discovery brings a global footprint with its pan-European television sports network Eurosport, as well as a portfolio of broadcast channels across Europe.

“The opportunities in direct-to-consumer streaming are rapidly evolving, and to keep pace and retain a leadership position several things are required: global scale, access to capital, a broad array of high-quality content and industry-best talent,” said AT&T Chief Executive John Stankey during a press call Monday morning.

The new company, with a name announced by next week, will have over 200,000 hours of programming and include 100 brands – from HBO to Animal Planet to CNN and the Food Network. It will include streaming services such as HBO Max and Discovery+, which are growing, but still significantly smaller than Netflix and Disney+.

Source: Reuters