WarnerMedia, Discovery could merge: reports

by AFP / Pic by BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON – US telecommunications giant AT&T could announce as soon as Monday a merger between its WarnerMedia unit — which owns CNN and HBO — and Discovery media, media reports said.

The new entity is expected to be owned by AT&T and Discovery, according to a CNBC report, but no details were immediately released. 

Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, reported a deal “could be announced announced as soon as this week.”

Contacted by AFP, neither AT&T, WarnerMedia, or Discovery had responded on Sunday evening.

The transaction could create a giant able to compete with Netflix and Disney+, which have seen their number of subscribers surge during the pandemic. 

A slowdown in the growth of the Disney empire’s streaming platform between January and March, however, made investors fret and caused the group’s shares to plunge last week. 

AT&T bought Time Warner in 2018 for $80 billion, then renamed it WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, Warner Bros. studios and cable channels such as CNN. 

Discovery has channels in 220 countries, according to its website. 

WarnerMedia had net sales of $30.4 billion in 2020, and Discovery — which owns Eurosport — of $10.7 billion.