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New Sports Streamer Dials Up Anxieties For Local Broadcasters

Top station group executives see deeper fragmentation and more strain on the network-affiliate relationship as upshots of a new joint venture sports streaming service announced earlier this month by Fox Corp., Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney. This story is available to TVNewsCheck Plus subscribers only. Become a subscriber here.

Wall Street Is Overreacting To New Sports Joint Venture, Says Scripps CEO

Local broadcast station groups plummeted in value this week after Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox announced they will be launching a new joint venture focused on sports fans. However, according to EW Scripps CEO Adam Symson, says Wall Street is overestimating the new product’s popularity, saying investors appear to be pricing in that local ABC and Fox affiliates wouldn’t be part of the new skinnier bundle. They will be included, he said, citing assurances he’s been given in conversations with Disney executives. “Affiliates are going to be compensated for being carried along,” Symson said.

Streaming Venture From ESPN, Fox And Warner Blindsided Sports Leagues

Professional sports leagues including the National Football League and National Basketball Association were kept in the dark about the new sports-centric streaming service being launched by Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery, people familiar with the matter said. The companies involved in the effort are media partners of both leagues. Pro basketball and football programming will be among the significant drivers of the new service.

Big Media Circles The Wagons On Sports To Fend Off Tech Giants — Will It Work?

Wall Street analysts break down the plan by Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox to launch a joint streaming venture that has rights to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football and NCAA March Madness basketball.

What Sports Fans Need To Know About A New Streaming Service

Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery Team On Sports Streaming Platform

The three companies will each share one-third ownership in the joint venture. A name for the service and pricing will be announced later. The platform will include games from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA, NASCAR and college sports, including the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament, as well as golf, tennis and the FIFA World Cup.

Warner Bros. Discovery Stock Falls After Analyst Downgrade On Lower M&A Likelihood, Slower Max Growth, Ad Declines

Warner Bros. Discovery probably won’t see a transformative M&A deal this year — and given negative trends in its TV and streaming businesses, Wells Fargo analysts issued a downgrade on the media conglomerate’s stock. Wells Fargo on Monday downgraded its rating on WBD stock from Equal Weight from Overweight and trimmed its price target from $16 to $12 per share. Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery were trading down 2.4% Monday, at about $10.36/share.

NBCUniversal Plus Warner Bros. Discovery? Comcast CEO Fends Off Chatter

Warner Bros. Discovery Plans New York Upfront Event For May 15

The media conglomerate said Thursday that it plans to hold a presentation for advertisers at 10 a.m. ET on May 15 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, where it will call attention to media brands such as Max, Food Network, CNN, HGTV, TBS, Discovery, TLC, Bleacher Report and Discovery+. The ranks look to be heavier with streaming properties than traditional linear ones.

Warner Bros. Discovery Corporate Communications Chief Nathaniel Brown To Exit

CEO David Zaslav announced the news in a memo to staff Friday. Variety has learned Brown decided to step down himself, following his tenure getting the company through its merger between the legacy Discovery and WarnerMedia, which closed in April 2022. A respected communications veteran, Brown also led the PR strategy for the launch of Max, the combined HBO Max and Discovery+ streamer, in May 2023.

Warner Bros. Discovery Acquires Turkish Streamer BluTV

“Turkey has been an important investment territory for us for over 20 years, and the acquisition of BluTV brings Turkey’s first local SVOD player into our portfolio.”

Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global In Merger Talks

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global have held talks about a potential merger of the two media companies. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav met with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish in a lunch meeting Tuesday in New York where they discussed a possible merger, sources said. Zaslav also has talked with Shari Redstone, whose National Amusements Inc. owns a controlling stake in Paramount Global, about a potential combination of the companies.

In Search Of Cash, Studios Send Old Shows Back To Netflix

Meredith Gertler, Lisa Holme To Exit; Vanessa Brookman Promoted In Latest Warner Bros. Discovery Shakeup

“As we’ve talked about many times, the one constant in our business and industry these days is change,” said JB Perrette, CEO and president of global streaming and games.

Ad Sales Research Head Andrea Zapata Leaving Warner Bros. Discovery

Andrea Zapata, Warner Bros. Discovery’s EVP, ad sales research, measurements and insights, will be leaving the company at year end to take a post with T-Mobile. At Warner Bros. Discovery, Zapata spearheaded the effort to use new currencies from measurement companies including VideoAmp and Comscore for advertising sales. The move follows the departure of Kelly Abcarian from NBCUniversal, where she had been EVP, measurement & impact and led the charge to improve TV measurement.

 

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Cable Chief Kathleen Finch On Food Network At 30, The Future Of TBS And TNT And How Linear TV Supports The Entire Company

Warner Bros. Discovery cable warrior Kathleen Finch is heading into her Super Bowl: the holiday season at Food Network. “Fans come and we supersize them and super serve them with all this holiday content, daytime content, and primetime stuff,” she says.

‘Young Sheldon’ To Stream On Netflix In U.S. As WBD Continues To License Previously Exclusive Content

Netflix has started running promos prominently on the platform in the U.S. that Young Sheldon will be “coming soon.” The first five seasons of the popular Warner Bros. TV comedy series, which is set to end its run on CBS with the upcoming seventh season, will start streaming on Netflix in the US starting Nov. 24. In the U.S., the Big Bang Theory spinoff had been streaming on Warner Bros. TV sibling Max which landed the exclusive streaming rights in 2020 having also secured exclusively the mothership series. Max had been billed as the U.S. streaming home of the Big Bang Theory franchise that also includes a new spinoff in development as a Max original.

‘South Park’ Streaming Rights Standoff: Judge Rules Against Warners On Some Claims In Licensing Battle

The judge pointed to evidence that consumers could distinguish that Paramount+ was the exclusive home of two South Park movies per year while Max housed the series’ back catalog. WBD still has claims for breach of contract, tortuous interference and unjust enrichment.

How David Zaslav Blew Up Hollywood

A merger put him in the driver’s seat at Warner Brothers, one of the industry’s biggest studios. It has been a wild ride.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Warner Bros. Discovery Sees ‘Barbie’ Boost & Free Cash Flow In Mixed Quarter Squeezed By Strike, Soft Ad Market

Warner Bros. Discovery’s third quarter was mixed with Barbie coin and free cash flow beloved by Wall Street offset by sluggish advertising and the impact of the actors’ strike on the one of the industry’s biggest content creators.

Streaming, which turned profitable in the first quarter ahead of most rivals, but lost $3 million in Q2, was back in the black to the tune of $111 million despite a net subscriber loss as Discovery+ users continued to migrate to Max, which showcases lots of Discovery programming. Subs declined to 95.1 million in the third from 95.8 million in the second quarter. Streaming revenue was up 5% to $2.4 billion on price hikes, which are sweeping the streaming landscape, and digital ad revenue that’ growing off a small base.

Jonathan Katz, Warner Bros. Discovery, Lionsgate, Gray Television Creating New Diginets & FAST Channels

The new company, Free TV Networks, targets value-conscious consumers with a portfolio of national ad-supported over-the-air and FAST channels. Two new diginets will launch in 80% of the U.S. on New Year’s Day

Jennifer Remling Joins Warner Bros. Discovery In Top HR Post

The former WPP exec has been named to succeed the longtime David Zaslav adviser Adria Alpert Romm as chief people and culture officer at the studio.

‘Sesame Street’ Getting ‘Reimagined’ For Season 56

Sesame Workshop will drop the magazine-style format of the long-running children’s show in 2025 in favor of a longer narrative-driven style, paired with a new animated series Tales From 123.

Warner Bros. Discovery Shakes Up Consumer Products Division

Warner Bros. Discovery will overhaul the executive structure of its global consumer products and franchises division, the unit that oversees the management of its intellectual property as well as DC Comics. Pam Lifford, president of the group, is stepping down to focus on a family member’s health care needs, the company said Wednesday, and Bruce Campbell, Warner’s chief revenue and strategy officer, who has oversight of the division, will have new direct reports. Robert Oberschelp. who has been head of the consumer products business in North America. will become the new head of the division, and will report to Campbell.

Why CNN May Become Max’s Ultimate Retention Tool

How CNN Max could be as sticky for SVOD as it’s been for pay TV.

With A New Tournament And Streaming Home, The NBA Is A Big Bet For Warner Bros. Discovery

The NBA’s first in-season tournament, combined with the launch of B/R Sports on Max, is making for a critical NBA season for WBD Sports, and that’s before you factor in upcoming rights talks.

Warner Bros. Discovery Plans Post-Season ‘Peloteros’ Baseball Broadcasts With Focus On Hispanic Audiences

As Major League Baseball‘s post-season continues, Warner Bros. Discovery wants to talk baseball or beisbol. Starting Oct. 16, the company’s sports division will launch “Postseason ALTcast: Peloteros,” a so-called “alterna-cast” that will feature cultural conversations centered on the NLCS and the game of baseball as told through diverse voices and representation within the Hispanic community. The broadcast will appear on the TruTV cable network and the Max streaming hub while the traditional game broadcast appears on TBS and Max.

Hollywood Writers Deal Pushes Warner Bros And Paramount Stocks Higher

The potential end of the Hollywood writers strike sparked a jump on Monday in movie and streaming industry stocks, led by Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount with shares of Disney, AMC Entertainment, and Netflix also rising. Warner Bros and Paramount were the biggest gainers, up 1.44% and 1.5%, respectively. Disney rose 0.5%, while AMC was up 0.6%. Netflix edged higher by 0.5%.

WBD’s David Zaslav Says Industry Must Focus And Fight To Resolve Strikes As They Spill Into The Fall

David Zaslav said today that Warner Bros. Discovery had anticipated putting Hollywood strikes in the rear-view mirror this month, but with no end in sight, he added that “we” would “fight” to find a resolution. “I was in L.A. the last two days, and we really have to focus as industry — and we are trying — to get this resolved in a way that is really fair and everyone feels fairly treated,” he told investors at a Goldman Sachs media conference. “In our guidance, we said that this would be resolved in September. And here we are in September. And this is really a very unusual event to have. The last time it happened was 1960. And so what we did is, we just said we are really going to fight to get this resolved.”

Warner Bros. Discovery Sees Earnings Hit From Strikes Of Up To $500 Million This Year

The financial impact of ongoing actors and writers strikes has a number on it now, or one at least, as Warner Bros. Discovery said today it’s looking at a hit of $300 million to $500 million in adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for 2023 due to the work stoppages.

Amazon, Warner Bros. Compete For New Package Of Nascar TV Rights

Amazon.com Inc. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. are competing to broadcast a new package of Nascar races, with the league trying to boost its overall revenue by bringing in more media partners. The companies are vying with a third broadcaster for a package of between six and eight races during the summer months, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.

David Zaslav, Hollywood Antihero

The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, a conglomerate that includes Warner Bros. studios, CNN and HBO, takes on an entertainment business in turmoil.

Warner Bros. Discovery Ups Andrew Georgiou To President For UK, Ireland

Alyson Jackson Exits Warner Bros Discovery After 14 Years

Jackson was EVP and head of global content supply chain, but quietly left the business in recent months.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Warner Bros. Discovery 2Q Results Hit By ‘The Flash’ And Soft Ad Climate, But Free Cash Flow Doubles To $1.7B

Warner Bros. Discovery reported spotty financial results in the second quarter, but delivered better-than-expected free cash flow. The company posted a loss per share of 51 cents, which was worse than the 42 cents expected by Wall Street analysts. Revenue dipped 4% from the prior-year quarter to come in at $10.358 billion, a shade less than the Street’s number. Ditto streaming subscriber numbers, which showed a loss of 1.8 million subscribers and a tally of 95.8 million.

Warner Bros. Discovery Head Of Research Tania Missad To Exit

Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming Comms Exec Chris Willard To Exit After 14 Years At HBO

Warner Bros. Discovery Realigns Advertising Sales Organization

Marybeth Strobel and Greg Regis lead agency-focused teams, while Jon Diament heads sports sales.

Counter-Coalition Formed To Fight Local Broadcasters Over Distribution Rules

Several of the country’s biggest entertainment and streaming companies are teaming up to fight hundreds of local broadcasters over a years-old provision that would determine whether they are forced to negotiate directly with those local stations for distribution deals.  The Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition, which launched Wednesday, is made up of major entertainment companies and their broadcast networks, including Disney/ABC, Paramount/CBS, Fox Corp./Fox, NBCUniversal/NBC/Telemundo, Warner Bros. Discovery, Univision and Roku.

Warner Bros. Discovery Names Lisa Collins DEI VP For North America

WBD had said it would be reorganizing the division after the departure of former executive Karen Horne.