Commentary

What If Warner Bros. Discovery Bought CBS And Its Stations?


The thick plottens. Everything goes back to broadcast TV. Isn’t that where everything originated from in the first place?

If the complex machinations of potential deals to buy Paramount Global don’t have your head spinning, consider a new wrinkle working under-the-radar at the moment: Warner Bros. Discovery might be interested in purchasing CBS Television Network and CBS owned TV stations.

Before you start throwing up your hands in disgust or exasperation or otherwise, think what Warner Bros. Discovery (and its earlier iterations) has been lacking in its corporate culture of late: broadcast businesses.

In particular, WBD might consider this more of a wish list thing -- especially now while in re-negotiations for the NBA (a longtime staple on TNT) or for that matter other premium sports properties. 

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According to reports, WBD is in the awkward position of being the odd man out when it comes to current NBA negotiations -- ABC/ESPN, NBC Sports, and Amazon Prime Video are in the driver's seat for broadcast-network focused and streaming platform TV rights deals.

At the same time, WBD doesn’t have a well-entrenched digital media assets company, like Amazon -- one with wide-ranging advertising and e-commerce connections, the latter highly important to big brand advertisers' interests in connecting their messaging to lower funnel consumer purchasing behaviors.

All this would make sense in the sale of Paramount Global to Skydance Media, an on-the-lot producer at Paramount, who is really focused on Paramount Pictures and its TV/movie production facilities not on TV networks, CBS or Paramount’s nearly two dozen cable networks.

The belief all along is that if Skydance’s bid succeeds it would be selling off CBS and its stations.

Still, all this might be crazy talk. Though WBD has a massive $43 billion in long-term debt which it continues to pay down, the big media company has a long way to go. Now it has to consider an option to pay double the annual NBA rights fee of about $2.5 billion a year -- a deal that, narrowly speaking, by itself, would be a money loser. 

On top of that, it would have to spend a few more billion to get CBS and its TV stations. Whew....

If that isn’t enough, Shari Redstone, who runs National Amusements, which has controlling equity interest in Paramount Global, still isn’t happy about the improved Skydance Media deal.


1 comment about "What If Warner Bros. Discovery Bought CBS And Its Stations?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, June 12, 2024 at 7:52 p.m.

    I don't see WBD buying CBS TV stations in my opinion or its many cable networks either they are too big as is in my opinion.

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