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Monday’s bombshell announcement that AT&T would spin out WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery Inc. rocked the media world ahead of upfronts week. The union will reshape the media landscape and further consolidate the remaining TV entertainment giants by uniting disparate cable networks like Discovery’s Food Network, HGTV, ID and TLC with WarnerMedia’s HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN and TBS.
But forget the cable brands: Really, the deal is all about positioning the combined company to better capitalize on the growing global opportunity for subscription and ad-supported streaming, and to keep pace with the likes of Netflix and Disney.