AT&T announces $43 billion deal to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by NashGuy, May 16, 2021.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Nah. DISH never lost Warner's basic cable Turner nets, so why would they lose the Discovery nets? Also, DISH has been testing HBO and Cinemax channels recently on their sats, so it looks like they may finally soon return after being gone over two years.
     
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  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Exactly. It appears that HBO is returning to DISH. One shouldn't use the WarnerMedia/Discovery deal to speculate that channels will be lost.
     
  3. Claude A Greiner

    Claude A Greiner DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    But it’s been gone so long, the damage has already been done.

    Anyone wanting HBO, either subscribes to HBO streaming service or has switched providers.

    I don’t see HBO offering Dish a lower price to come back, and I don’t see Charlie paying a higher price considering what I just said.


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  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    And yet several HBO/Cinemax channels were uplinked for testing on May 12th.
    4 HBO channels and 2 Cinemax channels via Satellite - 3 more linear HBO/Cinemax channels via linear streaming integrated in the guide (all 9 in HD).
    DISH will also have all 9 channels in SD via linear streaming integrated in the guide (good for rain fade backup).

    No, unless additional channels are uplinked it won't be the same packages that were removed 11/1/2018, but the signs are positive for a return.
    The issue in 2018 was not the price HBO requested it was the minimum number of subscribers HBO wanted DISH to provide.
    Remove that sticking point and Mr Ergen could be paying the same price as HBO requested in 2018.

    In any case, the eventual merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery will not immediately change each company's contracts with DISH. There is no reason to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt over the continuance of Discovery channels on DISH.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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  6. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Here's an interesting write-up pondering potential future media mergers:
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/29/media-mergers-whos-next-.html

    The last one proposed, Disney+AMC, is the least likely IMO (and in the author's estimation as well). Disney is huge already and shouldn't be allowed any further acquisitions. And I can't really see how buying AMC would do much for Disney overall anyhow. It might help Hulu a bit but I'm not convinced that the long-term fate of Hulu isn't to simply be absorbed into Disney+ as an adult-skewing content hub much like Star in the European version of Disney+ now.

    If Comcast decides to hold onto NBCU and try to make Peacock a global streaming powerhouse without merging with ViacomCBS (or WarnerDiscovery), then they should try to acquire not just Lionsgate/Starz, as the article suggests, but also AMC Networks. And maybe the privately held media arm of Hallmark too. Because they'll need all the content they can get to scale up and compete.

    The second proposed tie-up in the article, WarnerDiscovery+ViacomCBS, is an interesting one. It would give them two broadcast nets, CBS and The CW (which is currently jointly owned by those two separate companies). CBS News could be merged into CNN. (Imagine seeing the CBS eye icon as part of the CNN logo. Perhaps the CNN acronym would come to stand for "CBS News Network" instead of "Cable News Network".) I suppose Showtime would just be absorbed into HBO Max, with its subscriber base converted over. And for that matter, I guess Paramount+ would be absorbed into HBO Max too. Throw in all that Discovery+ content and, man, what a content bundle! Pluto TV might live on as the company's free ad-supported service.
     
  8. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    A theoretical WarnerDiscovery+ViacomCBS is more plausible than Disney getting bigger at this point.

    These areas would most likely go through without change:
    • Broadcast/Over-the-air Networks: The FCC only has a ownership cap on the 4 highest rated networks (ABC, CBS, Fox & NBC). The Big 4 can't be owned by the same company which is why Fox network went with Fox Corporation. Fox Corporation also owns MyNetworkTV (which is the 6th highest rated network and was created as a replacement for WB/UPN affiliates left out of The CW.) A merged WarnerDiscovery+ViacomCBS can fully own The CW alongside CBS since old Viacom (before the breakup) and CBS Corporation owned 100% of CBS & UPN.
    • Sports: Since CBS Sports Network is not a highly rated national sports network this combined entity could easily keep AT&T/WM's 16% stake in MLB Network, operational control over NBA TV and the 4 AT&T SportsNet RSNs. All this would do is unify the rights of March Madness under 1 company.
    • News: Since CBS News does not have a traditional linear network (unlike NBC News & MSNBC) the combined company most likely will be allowed to keep CNN, HLN & CNN International in their current form or place them under CBS News.
    If Disney-Fox merger is used as a precedent then this would pass:
    • Movie Studios: The combined company should be able to own both Warner Bros & Paramount given Disney kept their studios and now owns 20th Century Fox. Paramount is smaller than 20th Century Fox before the Disney acquisition.
    These areas will face scrutiny:
    • Traditional linear channels: In short WarnerMedia owns 5 entertainment channels (i.e. TBS, TNT, TCM, TruTV, Adult Swim). Discovery owns 16 English channels (i.e. Discovery, TLC, HGTV, Animal Plant, OWN, Travel and more). ViacomCBS owns over 20 channels (BET plus 5 sister networks, Comedy Central, CMT, Logo, MTV plus MTV2 and 3 more sister networks, Paramount Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, TV Land, VH1.) This is not counting their premium, kids & Spanish channels.
      • A merged WarnerMedia-Discovery will own 21 English entertainment channels with TBS & TNT being the most expensive outside of sports. A combined WM-Disovery & ViacomCBS would defiantly have to divest some of these as the FCC/DOJ will not allow 1 company to own over 40+ entertainment channels especially in areas where they overlap. Like either TBS (which is comedy based) or Comedy Central would have to go. Same goes for OWN & BET one needs to be divested.
      • The alternate option would be a requirement to force a combined WM-Discovery & ViacomCBS not to pull channels during a contract dispute instead go to arbitration through the FCC. A secondary requirement could require the combined company to keep the legacy WM networks, legacy Discovery networks & ViacomCBS networks on separate contracts with MVPDs/vMVPDs.
    • Kids channels: Disney Channel, Cartoon Network & Nickelodeon are the Big 3 of this area in terms of carriage fees & ratings. The FCC/DOJ most likely won't let 1 conglomerate own more than 1 of the Big 3 Kids Channels. WM-Discovery should have no issue keeping Cartoon Network/Boomerang and Discovery Family. However a divesture would most likely occur between Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon if a WM-Discovery & ViacomCBS merger would to occur.
    • Premium Services: HBO, Showtime & Starz are often seen as the Big 3. Given how competitive HBO & Showtime are one of these could be targeted by the DOJ to be divested.
    • Streaming Services: This could be the first mega merger to cause the DOJ to examine how competitive the overall streaming landscape is since WM owns HBO Max & Boomerang. Discovery owns discovery+. ViacomCBS owns Paramount+, Showtime, BET+, Noggin and PlutoTV.
      • A theoretical WM-Discovery & ViacomCBS merger involves a total 8 standalone streaming services (7 paid, 1 free). HBOMax & Paramount+/Showtime are typically grouped into the same category as competitors by the press.
      • WM also own Crunchyroll until the DOJ is done reviewing the Sony-AT&T deal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Eh, maybe. I can imagine that a combined Warner/Discovery/ViacomCBS would have to make some concessions, most likely with regard to their basic cable nets and how they deal with MVPDs. But I think that a lot of your take here in rooted in the past, not where media is moving, which is away from traditional cable TV and toward direct-to-consumer streaming. For instance, I don't think it would matter much to the DOJ that, in this hypothetical scenario, HBO Max might absorb Showtime and fledgling streamers Paramount+ and discovery+. Not when you consider the powerhouses that Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Google already are in streaming.

    I think the concept of "premium cable services" is probably untenable in the long run. HBO is already morphing into the bigger, broader HBO Max. I think Showtime and Starz will probably both ultimately get sucked into something larger, at least on the streaming side, given their ownership by ViacomCBS and Lionsgate, respectively. Not sure how many more days little Epix has left now that its parent MGM is getting sucked into Amazon.
     

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