DALLAS, Tex. (UPI) —
AT&T announced Monday that it’s merging WarnerMedia — which includes HBO and CNN — with Discovery to form a standalone streaming and entertainment company.
The deal would pay $43 billion to AT&T and let it keep 71% ownership of the new company. Discovery shareholders would own 29%.
Boards at AT&T and Discovery have already signed off on the agreement, the companies said. David Zaslav, Discovery’s president and CEO, will lead the new company.
“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,” AT&T CEO John Stankey said
in a statement.
“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.”
“It is super exciting to combine such historic brands,” Zaslav said. “We believe everyone wins.”
The new company will combine some well-known entertainment brands. Along with HBO and CNN, the new streaming company will include content from Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, Cartoon Network, the Turner Networks, TLC and Animal Planet.
Once in operation, the new company will compete with established streamers like Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Reporting by Clyde Hughes
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