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Beware the Attack Basset
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This bears a striking similarity to the TPG deal (~70/30% with the minority having at least figurehead control) but they're perhaps not talking about the same kind of operational independence.

I'm not sure I buy into this idea of letting the minority partner run the show. It sounds like they're just tiptoeing around a Comcast/NBCUniversal hairball (that really turned out pretty well for Comcast since they largely ignored many of the regulatory conditions).
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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But if the media is spun off they will need to deal with the new controlling ownership.
Majority ownership retains AT&T some level of control. Management does what they feel they need to do but they still have to answer to the Board and the Board has to answer to the stockholders.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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At the end of the day, it will come down to whether their revenue is greater than their cost of earning that revenue.
These deals that AT&T are making also involve some fairly significant debt being transferred to the new management. The new media entity will hit the ground a year from now with about $28 billion in Time Warner debt in addition to Discovery's $15 billion dollar debt. That's not chump change for a operation said to be worth $122 billion on paper.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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For the DIRECTV spinoff the board isn't AT&T. AT&T's control of the board is limited to appointing two members (40%). That is all.
As long as common shares are voting shares, AT&T will maintain a certain level of control over the Board with their large majority holdings.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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The cable companies can charge whatever they wanted for content, because A) where were we going to go? B) because they can.
The question remains as to whether or not cable companies should be able to hold content hostage. Comcast agreed not to do that as part of their merger with NBCU.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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I still think that carriers shouldn't be allowed to own content. Similarly, I don't think content companies should be allowed to own TV stations.

Both create a certain leverage with their customers that I don't think should exist.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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I think part of the problem is defining who a carrier is of streaming.
The reasoning is that content carriage should not be made more difficult (i.e. cost more or have unreasonable conditions imposed) just because you're a competitor in other industries (i.e. the broadband space).

If broadband companies weren't allowed to own content, I suspect that there would be a lot less fuss all the way around.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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The "problem" seems to be more of a threat that is perceived by people with a chicken little attitude than a reality.
Perhaps, but I get a nagging feeling that there must still be something to the narrow distribution of Comcast's Philadelphia and Houston sports channels (other than team performance) that is related to Comcast making greater than reasonable demands. There have also been some accusations aimed at TWC regarding the LA RSN market. It is possible that this is just sour grapes but it does make me wonder.
AT&T could make it more difficult for their subscribers to access Peacock's servers to try to hurt Comcast ... but they are getting out of the content business so they will no longer be competing content company to content company. Except for zero rating data (charging data for using Peacock but not their service) it is in AT&T's best interest not to play silly games blocking or throttling other company's content.
I don't think this would fly in the current environment
Comcast has made it easier to get Peacock via Xfinity (discounted service and one free streaming box for each broadband subscriber) but they have not locked Peacock streaming content to "Xfinity only" or imposed any unreasonable conditions.
Peacock Plus streaming is free for Comcast customers. It didn't coincide with a rate change, they just decided to throw it in. This would only be an issue if what NBC Universal charges Comcast is significantly less than what they might charge AT&T to be able to offer "free" Peacock and I'm not entirely convinced that isn't the case. It is also possible that AT&T wasn't interested but I think the sports channels (CSN Philly and CSN Houston) are a better example.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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"AT&T will pay Discovery a $1.77 billion breakup fee if it backs out of its deal to sell off its WarnerMedia segment, according to a Plan of Merger filed on Thursday."
AT&T's Time-Warner merger jilting penalty was set at $1.7 billion.

This certainly measures AT&T's commitment to relieving themselves of WarnerMedia. Add to that the fact that Discovery's decidedly minority (29%) investment is enabling them to appoint six of the thirteen Board members (to include the CEO). AT&T gets to pick seven and appoint one of those the Chairman.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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Does HBO offer much in the way of "favorite shows" any more? Other than John Oliver and maybe Bill Maher, I'm waiting ... and waiting... for House of the Dragon before I think about subscribing again.

Their front page still has a Juneteenth reference. 9 to 5 and Cadillac Man ?!?!?!

I'm also boggled that they bill "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) a "theatrical premiere". The mighty appears to have done a face plant.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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Over 74 million subscribers seems to like the service. They would not be subscribing if they didn't like the content.
At this point, the reason they are subscribing may well be inertia and FOMO rather than actually watching programs on the service/plex.
 
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