AT&T’s Media Group, Discovery In Merger Talks, Report Says

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AT&T might spin off its media business to merge it with Discovery, according to Bloomberg.

This would be “surprising” for the company, Bloomberg noted, given that it just spent $85 million acquiring those assets a few years back, which include its Warner Media unit in which it owns CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and the Warner Bros. studio.

Meanwhile, Discovery owns networks such as HGTV, Food Network and the Animal Planet.

According to the report, the companies’ idea is to combine the Discovery reality TV slate with AT&T’s large amount of media holdings.

A deal, according to sources Bloomberg spoke to, could be reached by the end of this week, though the companies have been negotiating the structure of the possible transaction.

AT&T CEO John Stankey has been selling off assets as well as cutting staff and underperforming assets. The company has been channeling funding toward its 5G developments, which will cost billions. It has also been working on its fiber-optic footprint. And the company needs money to pay off debt, which it acquired a lot of after an acquisition spree. While the company has been paying some of it off, it also has bills from a recent spectrum auction.

And with the Discovery deal, that company could gain enough of a foothold in the media to compete with Netflix and other streaming services, as the future of entertainment broadcasting begins to take shape. Discovery, along with WarnerMedia, have both made their ways into the streaming pool as of late, with Discovery putting out its Discovery+, which has a slate of unscripted reality shows.

And AT&T has put out HBOMax, which has continued adding content since debuting last year.

In regards to 5G, PYMNTS writes that AT&T has been looking toward the future of connectivity and how it will be used. AT&T Director of 5G Center of Excellence Jason Inskeep spoke with Karen Webster recently and said it would be good to look at the various brand new ways to apply it that may not have existed just a few years ago.

The 5G technology will offer new connectivity options for things like access to healthcare in remote areas.



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