David Zaslav on Subscriber Goals for Combined Discovery-WarnerMedia

Discovery CEO David Zaslav told CNBC on Monday that he believes the new company created from a merger with AT & T’s WarnerMedia could eventually attract 400 million real-time video subscribers worldwide.

Zaslav, a media executive with decades of experience, said the two are already collectively a quarter of the way down. He was chosen to lead the combined firm.

“We own the entire ecosystem,” Zaslav said on “Squawk on the Street.” “Netflix is ​​a great company, Disney is a great company, but we have a very diverse and very attractive content portfolio.”

“We think it could be [up to] 400 million long-term households, ”added Zaslav, who, prior to joining Discovery, had a long tenure at NBC, where he was instrumental in launching CNBC.

When asked if such a high prediction was a realistic target, Zaslav said: “There are billions of people we could reach in the market.”

Here’s a summary of the broadcast landscape:

  • Netflix has nearly 208 million subscribers worldwide, according to its latest quarterly earnings report.
  • Last week, Disney said Disney + ended the fiscal second quarter with 103.6 million subscribers and doubled down on its plans to reach between 230 million and 260 million subscribers by 2024.
  • Disney also reported that its ESPN + had 13.8 million subscribers, while its third streaming property, Hulu, had a total of 41.6 million subscribers.
  • Of the more than 200 million Amazon Prime members, the company said in April that more than 175 million of them viewed content through Prime Video last year.

The Discovery-WarnerMedia deal would unite content properties such as HBO, CNN, Turner Sports and the Warner Bros. studio, as well as the Discovery Channel, HGTV and the Food Network.

WarnerMedia’s flagship digital streaming service, HBO Max, debuted in the US in May 2020. Discovery’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, Discovery +, launched in January.

The merger deal announced Monday represents the latest chapter in increasingly intensifying broadcast wars as media and entertainment companies fight for consumer dollars directly in a move away from traditional pay TV.

Divulge: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

Add Comment