Despite the ink still drying on the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, the newly created conglomerate may soon be taken over by another media giant.
In an analysis of the financial difficulties that Warner Bros. Discovery is currently being confronted by The Hollywood Reporter, an interesting piece of information has emerged: Comcast is considering acquiring the struggling company and merging it with NBCUniversal. While the unification of Warner Bros. with Discovery seemed to be beneficial for everyone involved, things quickly escalated. From the cancellation of bat girl and Scoob: Holiday Haunt to the purge of numerous movies and shows on HBO Max to mass layoffs, the birth of Warner Bros. Discovery was soon met with bad press and a legion of angry creatives. High-profile decisions by new CEO David Zaslav sent WBD stock plummeting, and that’s apparently what Comcast was so enamored with.
According to THR, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is looking forward to April 2024 when the legal hurdles preventing the purchase of WBD will be removed. Of course, the merger of two major media companies would still face plenty of antitrust concerns, but it wouldn’t be impossible for the companies to come together. “Obviously Peacock sucks,” an unnamed executive familiar with both companies said of NBCUniversal’s current streaming service. “There are good synergies. I’m sure [Roberts] lick their chops because [WBD] the stock is so low. And I think that’s Zaslav’s endgame. Sell the place.”
Warner Bros. Discovery is in financial difficulty
Zaslav has indeed shown himself to be shrewd at the head of the new company, everything indicates that bat girl was eventually shelved as a write-off. Plus, purging HBO Max would have saved the company millions, money it badly needs as it faces $50 million in debt.
“People feel like it’s Comcast for sure,” another source said. “It’s going to be so depressing to lose another great studio [after Disney bought Fox]. And Warners was the Tiffany studio.”
The Disney and Fox merger has brought cancellations and similar concerns over creative freedom, and the merger between two more powerful film and TV studios would give creators even fewer options. But Warner Bros. Discovery insists that a sale is not its endgame. “We are building Warner Bros. Discovery for the long term,” a spokesperson said.
Either way, the next two years will present many challenges for the new company and its divisive CEO as they struggle to mend a stained reputation, win back creatives, and make DC Films a viable rival for Marvel Studios.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter