HBO Max/Discovery+ Merger

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RedPenguin

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I'm not really sure what's going on with Discovery Plus expanding after just saying that they see getting rid of it.....But now Sling TV customers can get the $5/$7 plans as an addon.


How are they going to handle making Amazon, Roku, and now Sling customers all angry by just yanking the service?
 
Radioguy41

Radioguy41

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For me D+ ran out of new and interesting content. I watched the last episode of the last interesting show yesterday and cut D+ loose. Poorly done murder & crime shows don't do it for me. Neither do phony "reality" shows so, buh-bye. HBO never did appeal to me and D+ has lost it's luster so joining the two won't make it better, at least for me. Not sure how they plan to take two income streams, merge them into one, and not raise the price. They'd be automatically cutting income in half so I would expect the joint stream to double, at the least, what either stream costs alone today. Otherwise the whole merger makes no sense.
 
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Bruce

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If they keep the price the same, i will just ignore the D+ content on HBOMAX ( or whatever they call it).

If they use D+ content as a excuse to cut back on HBO Content ( which is what I think they will do), that is another issue and think about dropping it.

They have already gone back on their 45 days after theater on HBO ( back to 3-6 months after depending on Box Office) and killed some shows in planning that I had interest in ( actually looking forward to the Batgirl movie with Michael Keaton back as Batman in it)
 
KAB

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Last edited:
Bruce

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As expected, here we go. They will lose me as a regular in a heartbeat after my $12.00 deal ends at end of year, which has not been worth it lately.
Agreed.

Adding Discovery content to HBO MAX to justify a price increase ( my guess is $19.99 a month) is not a plus, if I wanted Discovery+, I would have Discovery+.

Now I am starting to question even having HBO MAX at $149 a year, because they are getting rid of some of the things I have HBO for-

Movies premiering 45 days on HBOMAX after opening at Theaters, gone but they are still premiering for sale on Vudu, itunes and the likes 45 days later, then on HBO a few months later.

Cutting back on productions and then will use Discovery’s content to fill in the loss of HBO content, I know why they are doing it, Discovery’s content is cheap, HBO’s is expensive.

Also, what about all the Discovery+ subscribers that pay $5-7 a month, get rid of that service and say you can have it back at $19.99 a month for the new Warner/Discovery Service.

Then what happens to the Traditional HBO service on Cable/Satellite?

Do you pay $19.99 for that and then get access to the new service like MAX, or do they say if you want the new service, you have to subscribe direct with Warner and cut out Traditional Providers?
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

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They are going to jack the prices till they lose both Hbo Max customers and Discovery customers. I bet that their combined subs will go down by next year.
 
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Bruce

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They are going to jack the prices till they lose both Hbo Max customers and Discovery customers. I bet that their combined subs will go down by next year.
Yep, try the same tactic that DirecTV did and lose 10 million paying subscribers in 7 years.

And I know the other Traditional Providers raised the price and lost subs, not as much as DirecTV did, I read the average monthly cost for DirecTV is $124.
 
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NashGuy

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They are going to jack the prices till they lose both Hbo Max customers and Discovery customers. I bet that their combined subs will go down by next year.
I don't see any way that they're combined subs *don't* go down because you know most of those Discovery+ subs currently paying $5 or $7 per month aren't going to convert over to "HBO Discovery" at $10 or $15. And the price might be higher than that, although I don't see how they can go much higher given how the competition (Netflix, Disney) is priced.

The current overlap between the subscriber bases of HBO Max and Discovery+ is very small. I forget the number but it's not much. I can see the Discovery content making HBO Max stickier and helping broaden its appeal a bit but only if they keep the pricing where it is now, or maybe a buck more. If they try to charge more than $16/mo for the totally ad-free version of HBO Discovery, I think they'll get a lot more folks just getting it a month here or there, rather than keeping it year-round.
 
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NashGuy

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In this week's edition of Media Merger Rumor Mill, we have an idea that I've floated here before, which is that WBD isn't going to be able to go the distance as-is and that Zaslav is just getting it positioned for a future merger with NBCUniversal in 2024.


That would indeed be a formidable global media powerhouse that could likely compete head-on against Disney and Netflix. (And getting all that WB/DC IP would also be a shot in the arm to the Universal Studios theme park business. Imagine Harry Potter, Batman, E.T., Looney Tunes, Minions, and Jurassic Park all in one place.)

Would the DOJ allow it? The companies' argument will be, of course, that neither HBO Discovery or Peacock will be able to survive long-term as global competitors to Netflix and Disney+. Which is probably true. Plus, the DOJ allowed Disney to buy nearly all of Fox to become the 2,000 lb gorilla they are now.

If this is how it ultimately shakes out, I think it's lights out for Paramount+. They really need to merge with either WBD or NBCU. But if those two combine, then Paramount is left out in the cold, in which case I think they just ride CBS and their basic cable nets off into the sunset of linear TV, milking that revenue stream still it dies. The Paramount studio will be largely independent, like Sony, producing theatrical films and supplying content to other companies' streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, and the WarnerUniversal service. Paramount+ would be shut down. Showtime might be sold off, perhaps merging with Starz and/or AMC in order to create a US-only premium streaming/cable service.
 
Bruce

Bruce

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That would indeed be a formidable global media powerhouse that could likely compete head-on against Disney and Netflix. (And getting all that WB/DC IP would also be a shot in the arm to the Universal Studios theme park business. Imagine Harry Potter, Batman, E.T., Looney Tunes, Minions, and Jurassic Park all in one place.)
While DC is pretty much unused here in theme park land ( I live in Kissimmee), Universal has a lot of IP to use yet, so much they are building a third theme Park ( they have a water park also) here, called Epic Universe with Super Nintendo World, more Harry Potter, Universal Monsters, How to train a Dragon ( Dreamworks) and others.
 
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Bruce

Bruce

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Would the DOJ allow it? The companies' argument will be, of course, that neither HBO Discovery or Peacock will be able to survive long-term as global competitors to Netflix and Disney+. Which is probably true. Plus, the DOJ allowed Disney to buy nearly all of Fox to become the 2,000 lb gorilla they are now.
DOJ might let it happen if they spin off Comcast/Xfinity’s TV, Broadband, Mobile Service.
 
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NashGuy

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DOJ might let it happen if they spin off Comcast/Xfinity’s TV, Broadband, Mobile Service.
I assume what would happen is that Comcast would spin off their NBCU division (something which Comcast CEO Roberts already explored earlier this year) in order for it to merge with WBD. (Or it might be structured as Comcast purchasing WBD to fold into NBCU, then spinning that off as its own separate stock.) Perhaps the name of the merged company would just be Universal. Like 20th Century after its acquisition by Disney, I think the Warner Bros. name would live on only as a sub-studio of parent Universal (alongside prestige label Focus Features).

I'd just call the DTC streaming service either Universal+ or, better yet, simply Universal. HBO would probably be sold as an optional premium add-on to the Universal service (as it was historically sold only as an add-on to basic cable). Peacock might live on as a pure FAST, eventually incorporating a live stream of the national NBC feed. Can't see Roberts (or most in Hollywood) thinking Zaslav is the right guy to head the merged company, especially after the hatchet job he's doing to WB.

They might have to divest a few things to pass muster with the DOJ. Probably couldn't keep (or even want to keep) both MSNBC and CNN. Paramount might be a willing buyer for either of those at the right price, along with a few of the many other basic cable nets that would belong to a mash-up of NBCU+Warner+Discovery.

If all this went down in 2025, I fully expect by then that Disney+ will have swallowed Hulu and also brought ESPN out as one or two standalone DTC streaming services. By this point, the cable bundle will be replaced by a handful of DTC services: Universal, Disney+, ESPN, and US-only services from CBS and Fox to sell their live sports, news and entertainment content directly to consumers. (It's also possible that CBS and/or Fox just license some or all of their channels' content out to Universal, Disney+ or Prime Video, as Fox already does with Hulu for its primetime shows.)The RSNs will likewise already be available as DTC standalone apps.
 
KAB

KAB

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In this week's edition of Media Merger Rumor Mill, we have an idea that I've floated here before, which is that WBD isn't going to be able to go the distance as-is and that Zaslav is just getting it positioned for a future merger with NBCUniversal in 2024.


That would indeed be a formidable global media powerhouse that could likely compete head-on against Disney and Netflix. (And getting all that WB/DC IP would also be a shot in the arm to the Universal Studios theme park business. Imagine Harry Potter, Batman, E.T., Looney Tunes, Minions, and Jurassic Park all in one place.)

Would the DOJ allow it? The companies' argument will be, of course, that neither HBO Discovery or Peacock will be able to survive long-term as global competitors to Netflix and Disney+. Which is probably true. Plus, the DOJ allowed Disney to buy nearly all of Fox to become the 2,000 lb gorilla they are now.

If this is how it ultimately shakes out, I think it's lights out for Paramount+. They really need to merge with either WBD or NBCU. But if those two combine, then Paramount is left out in the cold, in which case I think they just ride CBS and their basic cable nets off into the sunset of linear TV, milking that revenue stream still it dies. The Paramount studio will be largely independent, like Sony, producing theatrical films and supplying content to other companies' streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, and the WarnerUniversal service. Paramount+ would be shut down. Showtime might be sold off, perhaps merging with Starz and/or AMC in order to create a US-only premium streaming/cable service.
Don't put too much stock in anything from that website. It's mostly all "their" speculation. They contradict them selves alot. Read the article that says the Michelle Hurd is the only S1 cast member of Picard to be in S3.. Then, it includes a sneak peak if S3 with Jery Ryan in it.
 
N

NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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Don't put too much stock in anything from that website. It's mostly all "their" speculation. They contradict them selves alot. Read the article that says the Michelle Hurd is the only S1 cast member of Picard to be in S3.. Then, it includes a sneak peak if S3 with Jery Ryan in it.
Eh, it's not just this one article from this one website. Multiple things I've read on Hollywood industry sites say similar things, that the conventional wisdom among insiders (which, of course, can always be wrong) is that WBD isn't built to go the distance, particularly with its debt load, and that neither Universal/Peacock or Paramount+ will be able to survive alone long-term. Some even think that, at this point, a combination of Universal and Paramount (a possible merger I've talked up multiple times) wouldn't have enough scale and firepower to successfully compete globally with Disney and Netflix.

Increasingly, it seems, insiders think the only endgame that will allow any parts of Hollywood other than Disney to form a successful global direct-to-consumer streamer is if WBD and Universal combine. And given that Comcast should pocket at least $30 billion in the next year or so from selling Disney their stake in Hulu while the value of WBD keeps drifting down, Comcast might well be in a position to buy WBD come 2024 and merge it into their Universal subsidiary. WBD's market cap has fallen by almost 50% since the spring. It's now right about 31 billion.
 
ncted

ncted

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I'm always suspicious of arguments from companies that sound like "we have to do this to survive" while they are making tons of money. What they really mean is "we have to do this to keep getting fat paydays for our executives approved by a small handful of large stock owners" or "you made Disney to obig, and now we want you to make us too big as well." I worked at companies that had real survivability problems (Nortel and McClatchy). Those companies weren't making hundreds of millions or billions every year. They were losing money hand over fist, and it still took them years to fail. Nortel didn't survive and McClatchy eventually filed for bankruptcy and got bought out. I don't see that happening to WBD, CBS, or Comcast anytime in the foreseeable future.
 
B

BLC1962

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I have been a fan of HBOMax but not so much with Discovery +. I subscribe to just about every streaming service out there in one way or another (some included with my Dish subscription and previously with my Spectrum subscription). I have to say I have always found Discovery + to be the biggest disappointment of them all. I only still have it because I signed up for a one-year deal at a special rate. When it expires it will be gone. If they destroy HBOMax which is looks like they are trying their best to do it will also be gone. I can better spend that $23 a month (both services combined) on something of much greater value.
 

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