Warner Bros. Discovery: Survival For A Media Company Sans NFL?

Given the pressure that legacy TV-based media networks are under, the potential for another major disruption with a media merger is a strong possibility. 

The focus could be not just on sports -- but the NFL specifically.

Guggenheim Securities, for example, believes that Paramount Global or Fox Corp. could be a target for, say, Warner Bros. Discovery to consider.

This has a lot to do with WBD's desires for its overall TV/streaming businesses. Both Paramount Global and Fox Corp. each have a 10-year long NFL contract that just got started this season. WBD has no NFL contract of any type.

The obvious Wall Street investor consideration is that such a merger would mean “synergies” --better known as cost-cutting -- that comes to hard pressed companies like those traditional media businesses.

Both Paramount or Fox combining with WBD would give Warner Media the final piece of the overall media puzzle -- that is, a broadcast TV network and TV stations group, adding to its array of cable TV networks.



WBD could then better compete with Walt Disney.

The other side of this argument is where critics might wonder whether it is even necessary to buy into broadcast TV. Isn't everything digital and streaming going to replace everything broadcast?

Not exactly. Broadcast, in many executives' viewpoints, will still be around in some form for years to come. If now exactly in its current form. transformation of those big popular TV networks and TV station brands will continue.

Perhaps the push now for those companies on the outside looking in are to focus more -- not just on sports -- but the NFL, in particular. Six different media companies have a piece of the NFL for roughly the next 10 years or so. Again, not with WBD.

It could be a long time for Warner Bros. Discovery to wait for the next contract cycle to come around.  In the meantime, the company will need to make sure it can keep the sports it does have -- the NBA and the NCAA “March Madness” tournament. The NBA contract negotiations have already started.

If successful in these two renewal deals, WBD will then need to figure out the next move to find growth, profitability and staying power. Big time media -- and their investors -- demand it.

1 comment about "Warner Bros. Discovery: Survival For A Media Company Sans NFL?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 14, 2023 at 10:25 a.m.

    Good one, Wayne. Lot's of interesting possibilities here.

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