Discovery merger

Discovery merger with AT&T empire to forge a new streaming giant

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The business press is reporting on the proposed Discovery merger AT&T is hoping to perform

Over the past few months we’ve reported in changes in the media industry and how various deals and acquisitions are slowly building a landscape of streamers with both back-catalogue and new content creation capability. If we regard Netflix, Amazon and Disney as the frontrunners, another big new entrant may just be too much for a market slowly becoming saturated. For individuals subscribers the cost of each service adds up, and dilutes the benefit of all. If you’re in the UK access to the so-called Big Three may also be combined with Sky, Britbox or some other option. The Discovery merger is yet to be approved, but we take a look at what it might create.

AT&T’s new streamer

The portfolio is impressive. Warner Bros (as was) brings big titles to the table including Harry Potter, Hobbit, Mad Max, Batman and Wonder Woman. CNN is more known as a news channel, but also brings its own back-catalogue. AS to HBO, it provides a business framework for subscriptions, as well as a vast range of popular content from sport to wildlife programming. In total, the proposed deal brings 200,000 hours of programming to the table in one proposition.

Looking at numbers (thanks to the BBC’s analysis), HBO and HBO Max now have around 64 million subscribers worldwide; put this next to the Big Three: Netflix has over 200 million, Disney+ has rocketed to over 100 million in a few months. Now put your AT&T hat back on and look at the attractions of Discovery, which reaches 88 million US homes, and Discovery+ streaming has 15 million subscribers. But. You can’t just add 64 + 88 + 15 and get a possible 177 million subscriptions as many people will already have more than one of these services. Expect a large amount of churn for a few years while the dust settles on the deal (if it happens).

You can read all the details of the proposed deal in the AT&T press release. We’ll keep you posted as to what happens (and what name it gets as well!)