Microsoft Completes Xandr Acquisition From AT&T

Microsoft’s acquisition of Xandr from AT&T has officially closed, the company announced Monday, allowing the company to build up its ad business — particularly in connected television and linking it to search advertising. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports estimate the price at about $1 billion.

QUARTERLY REPORT

HBO Max/HBO Gain 3 Million Subscribers In 1Q

AT&T, in its Wall Street swan song as an entertainment entity, reported solid subscriber pickup for HBO Max and HBO for the first quarter of 2022 on Thursday. The now-divested WarnerMedia unit was again a drag on profitability because of continued investments in HBO Max and the launch of CNN+ — reflecting a key reason AT&T spun it off.

AT&T Sets More Details Of WarnerMedia Spinoff Ahead Of Discovery Merger

AT&T has firmed up more details of its spinoff of WarnerMedia, which is poised to combine with Discovery in a $43 billion merger. In an SEC filing, the telecom giant said it will issue its shareholders a special dividend on April 5. For each share of AT&T common stock, holders will get 0.24 share in Warner Bros Discovery. AT&T’s stock will begin two-way trading on April 4, with shareholders getting the option to buy or sell shares of AT&T with or without the WBD shares. Shareholders will also get a quarterly dividend worth a shade less than 28 cents for each AT&T share, on top of the company’s annual dividend of $1.11 a share after the spinoff closes. Above, AT&T CEO John Stankey and Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

AT&T CEO John Stankey Made $25M Last Year

AT&T chief executive John Stankey’s compensation totaled $24.8 million last year, up from $21 million the year earlier. According to a proxy statement filed with the SEC, retired CEO Randall Stephenson made $16.3 million in 2021 (down from $29 million).

AT&T Names Warner Bros. Discovery Board Members, Including Debra Lee

OAN Sues AT&T For Dropping It From DirecTV

One America News might have to shut down because of DirecTV’s decision to drop the right-wing network from its channel lineup, OAN said in a lawsuit against DirecTV and its owner AT&T. DirecTV recently said it will drop OAN after their carriage contract expires in early April. DirecTV will also drop AWE (A Wealth of Entertainment), as OAN and AWE are both owned by Herring Networks. Herring alleges breach of contract and other violations were committed by AT&T, DirecTV and AT&T Board Chairman William Kennard.

Discovery Shareholders Approve $43B WarnerMedia Merger

Discovery investors voted in approval of the company’s $43 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T to create Warner Bros. Discovery during a special meeting of stockholders on Friday, marking one of the final formal steps before the transaction can close. The deal, a spinoff of WarnerMedia from AT&T, is expected to be completed early in the second quarter, with insiders estimating between April 11 and 28. The merger has already received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the boards of directors of both AT&T and Discovery.

AT&T, State Farm Will Test TV Measurement Alternatives In Discovery-Omnicom Pact

AT&T and State Farm are the latest big advertisers to experiment with new ways of figuring out just who is watching TV – and the commercials that support it. The two marketers are among those who are taking part in an alliance between Discovery and Omnicom Media Group. Under the pact, a handful of Omnicom clients, including the telecom and insurance giants, will test new ways of tabulating linear TV audiences using Comscore and VideoAmp, and examine recent viewership data.

TVN TECH

NBC Sticks To ‘Sunday Night Football’ Playbook For The Super Bowl

Teed up by riveting playoffs, NBC will rely on the same core technical setup it employs for its regular-season NFL games when it broadcasts Super Bowl 56 on Sunday. “The more you can stick with what got you to where you are, the better off you are,” says Drew Esocoff, the big game’s director. Above, the Infinity Screen by Samsung in SoFi Stadium (Photo: Will Navarro).

AT&T To Slash Dividend After Spinoff Of WarnerMedia

The company is picking a simpler method to complete its deal with Discovery that will make the transaction easier for individual investors to digest, but will still leave the telecom company with about 7.2 billion shares outstanding.

Why AT&T May Be Leaning Toward A Spinoff Of Its Discovery Stake

AT&T may be leaning toward a straightforward spinoff of the 71% stake in the new Warner Bros. Discovery in the coming months rather than a complex “split-off,” or exchange offer. A transaction in one of those forms will take place when AT&T merges its WarnerMedia business with Discovery.

Trump Calls For Boycotts Of AT&T And Comcast

Former president Donald Trump, who has been using his ongoing national circuit of campaign-style rallies to urge the boycott of DirecTV and parent company AT&T for removing conservative channel One America News (OAN), has expanded his wrath to Comcast. Speaking Saturday at the fairgrounds in the East Texas flatland town of Conroe, Trump described both publicly traded telecommunications giants as “left-wing lunatics who are destroying our nation.”

Discovery Stock Soars 18% In Premarket Trading On News Of WarnerMedia Merger

AT&T-Discovery Deal Would Create A Media Juggernaut

NEWS ANALYSIS

Discovery Chief David Zaslav Gets In Fighting Shape For WarnerMedia Takeover

NEWS ANALYSIS

AT&T + Discovery: First Impressions On The Potential Merger

Trump Hails Randall Stephenson’s Retirement: ‘Great News!’

How Will Apple, Disney, AT&T, Netflix Retain Streaming Subs?

AT&T Launches Pop-Up Weather Service During Nexstar Impasse

AT&T is looking to make sure local viewers have access to emergency weather information, and at the same time remove an issue raised by a U.S. senator from weather-plagued Louisiana related to an ongoing carriage impasse with Nexstar.

AT&T: Nexstar Pushes Retrans Meeting To Saturday

It looks like AT&T’s DirecTV and Uverse customers will have to wait at least another day for the possible resolution of the week-long retransmission consent battle between the pay TV giant and Nexstar Media Group.

Economist: AT&T-TW Could Cost Americans

The Justice Department’s antitrust case against AT&T reached a crescendo Wednesday as government lawyers asked an economist to explain how the telecom giant’s proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner would lead to higher cable bills for consumers.

AT&T Trial Turns To Comcast-NBCU Merger

Justice Department Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim appeared in the courtroom Thursday to watch the proceedings in the government’s lawsuit to stop AT&T’s bid to purchase Time Warner as attorneys honed in on another merger: Comcast and NBCUniversal.

Six Key Takeaways From The AT&T Trial

A little less than two weeks and eight witnesses into the trial over AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, and we already have a good sense of some of the issues the case — which some are calling the antitrust trial of a generation — will likely pivot around.

DOJ Cites TW Clout In Fighting AT&T Deal

The Justice Department, seeking to stop AT&T Inc’s deal to purchase Time Warner Inc, sought on Monday to show how often Time Warner subsidiary Turner would threaten to cut off cable companies to win concessions during contract negotiations.

AT&T, DOJ Launch Opening Shots In Trial

The government and AT&T clashed on Thursday as each launched their opening salvos in a far-reaching trial on the telecom giant’s proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner.

NEWS ANALYSIS

ATT-TW Case Holds Future Of TV In Balance

Fans will be glued to the “March Madness” college basketball tournament as the joint owner of rights for the games, Time Warner Inc, goes before a judge today to defend a proposed takeover by AT&T Inc. With some 12 million viewers per game last year, the NCAA tournament exemplifies the marquee programming the U.S. government argues will become more expensive if Time Warner is bought by AT&T, the biggest pay-TV provider via subsidiary DirecTV.

Opening Arguments Thursday In AT&T Case

AT&T says it needs to buy Time Warner to compete with the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Google in the rapidly evolving world of video entertainment. The Justice Department’s antitrust lawyers worry that consumers will end up paying more to watch their favorite shows, whether on a TV screen, smartphone or tablet.

AT&T Spars With Govt. Over Trial Evidence

D.C. Federal District Judge Richard Leon oversees the first day of “trial” concerning AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

Justice, AT&T-TW Suit Gets Underway Today

The talk in media circles is focused on what happens if the AT&T deal is stopped by the government and Time Warner is forced to go it alone.

AT&T, DOJ To Collide Mon. Over Time Warner

In a standoff with far-reaching implications, the government claims that the megamerger would give AT&T, which already owns the nation’s largest pay-TV provider, DirecTV, added clout to bully others, freeze out new entrants in the TV industry and increase rates for consumers. The dispute — a rare standoff in an antitrust case — will be decided by a federal judge after a trial that begins Monday in Washington, barring a last-minute settlement.

AT&T, Justice On Collision Course Over TW

Two titans — the U.S. Justice Department and telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. — are locked in a high-stakes showdown to decide who controls some of the nation’s most popular television channels.

AT&T Files Trademark For AT&T TV

AT&T has filed for a trademark for “AT&T TV” with the U.S Patent & Trademark Office, a possible signal that the telco will eventually move away from its current TV brand names, DirecTV and U-verse.

AT&T: TW Merger Will Boost Mobile Video

“AT&T is merging with Time Warner not to thwart online viewing, but to advance it, by enabling AT&T to introduce new video products better suited to mobile viewing,” the company writes in papers submitted to a federal judge in New York.

Review Sought In AT&T-Time Warner Suit

The Wall Streer Journal reports a group of 11 former Department of Justice officials has asked a judge to revisit questions about whether the White House interfered in the government’s lawsuit challenging AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

DOJ: Trump Didn’t Bias AT&T-TW Merger

The Department of Justice on Friday moved to prevent AT&T from arguing that politics played a role in the government’s decision to stop its merger with Time Warner Inc, a deal that President Donald Trump had publicly criticized. “There was no selective enforcement,” Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said at a pre-trial hearing. “The president is unhappy with CNN. We don’t dispute that. But AT&T wants to turn that into a get-out-jail-free card for their illegal merger.”

AT&T Demands Trump Merger Talk Records

AT&T is demanding that the Justice Department hand over additional evidence to prove that President Trump did not wield political influence over the agency as its antitrust enforcers reviewed the company’s bid to acquire Time Warner.

AT&T Wants Antitrust Official On Witness List

The company is requesting that Makan Delrahim testify in the trial over the government’s decision to block its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, according to two people with knowledge of the pretrial activity.

Tony Goncalves To Run AT&T’s Otter Media

AT&T Still Not Back On Revamped YouTube

The company, one of the biggest marketers in the U.S., hasn’t returned to the platform because of concerns that its ads could appear with offensive content.

AT&T CEO Bullish On DirecTV Now

AT&T’s CEO touted the upcoming next-generation version of DirecTV Now, set to debut this spring, as a way to open up a new market for the vMVPD service. “With new functionality, we think we can get higher penetration,” Randall Stephenson said during the company’s 4Q earnings call Wednesday. “We’re actually very bullish on DirecTV Now. We’re convinced the economics will continue to improve as we move over the next couple of years.”