AT&T and Discovery are joining forces and creating a new company that will combine their media assets to better compete.
The streaming market has become a fiercely competitive one, with YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling, Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Apple spending big bucks to gain subscribers and release original content. For smaller players, like Discovery+ and AT&T’s HBO Max, it can be difficult to compete.
According to The Associated Press, the two companies believe their best option is to combine their media offerings, creating a single company that will open the door to better bundling options. Given the two companies control CNN, Food Network, HGTV, HBO, TBS and TNT, it’s a safe bet subscribers would pay to have a bundle including those channels.
The new company may even be able to offer complimentary plans that fill in holes in other streaming packages offered by other companies. For example, fuboTV doesn’t carry CNN, TBS or TNT, making an affordable add-on package an attractive option for fuboTV users.
If the deal is approved, AT&T shareholders would own 71% of the company, as opposed to Discovery’s 29%. It’s believed the combined company would save some $3 billion annually, freeing up more money for original content.
Provided Discovery shareholders sign off on the deal, it is expected to close the middle of next year.