AT&T and Discovery are in talks to combine AT & T’s media business with Discovery’s reality TV dynasty to create a massive new entertainment entity, Bloomberg reports, citing sources. Neither company confirmed the deal, but if it did, the combined company would be a potentially significant competitor to streaming brands such as Netflix and Disney.
But like Bloomberg notes that AT&T has only recently added some major entertainment brands to its portfolio acquired Time Warner for $ 85 billion, a deal that was finalized in 2018. And while AT & T’s streaming channel HBO Max has performed relatively well since its slightly messy launch last May, it’s still not quite as robust as older streamers like Netflix. In January, Discovery launched its own streaming platform Discovery Plus, which launched with shows emerging from its Discovery Channel catalog, including a new House hunters series and new series from the makers of Fixer Upper.
AT & T’s WarnerMedia unit owns cable channels CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT and the Warner Bros. movie studio. Discovery’s offering includes cable networks HGTV, Food Network and TLC. But as more people migrate from traditional cable TV to streaming options, most media companies are trying to find new ways to reach audiences.
BloombergSources indicated a deal could be announced as early as this week.