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Discovery closes in on WarnerMedia acquisition

“I’m sure you’re not surprised that it comes with a fair amount of anxiety, disappointment and worry about the changes it would trigger,” he wrote. “All things considered, I remain confident that we have charted the right course.”

The creation of Warner Bros. Discovery could cause changes among existing media companies, forcing smaller companies like Paramount to find a way to expand.

“There’s Disney, HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon and Apple – that’s five,” said media analyst Michael Nathanson, pointing to the major streaming services. “You don’t want to be in position six, seven or eight. At some point they will say, ‘We have to find a dance partner.’ »

The bigger question will be what will happen to HBO Max and Discovery+, the merged companies’ streaming services. Initially, the two might be sold as a bundle, but over time they will be combined into one giant streaming service, Mr. Zaslav told staff on Friday.

HBO and HBO Max, which consist of new TV series and movies, plus an impressive lineup from the Warner Bros. library, boast over 70 million subscribers; Discovery+ has more than 20 million.

Even combined, that pales in comparison to Netflix, which has more than 220 million paid subscribers, most of them outside the United States. HBO Max only recently expanded into overseas territory, though Discovery has built a strong international business.

“A new giant is born when it proves that it has international stature,” Mr. Nathanson said of Warner Bros. Discovery. “I don’t think the Discovery content on HBO Max in the US is a needle mover. But because international is such uncontested territory, they can have more impact outside of the United States.


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