Paramount, Warner Bros Discovery discuss merger; would consolidate streaming services

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The chief executives of Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global reportedly got together recently to weigh the possibility of merging their media companies into one. 

The move would consolidate the company’s respective streaming services, including Max, Discovery+ and Paramount+, to compete with larger services such as Netflix and Disney+.

Axios covered the meeting on Wednesday, reporting that CEOs David Zaslav and Bob Bakish had their conversation the day prior to that. The nature of the talks were preliminary, according to the outlet.

Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery declined to comment.

Warner Bros. Discovery, led by Zaslav, arose as an entity early last year upon the completion of the combination of Warner Media and Discovery. Paramount Global started going by that name in 2022.

WHAT WILL IT COST YOU NOW TO CUT THE CORD AND ONLY STREAM CONTENT?

Under a possible merger, the two companies could see benefits in the streaming business from a combination of their primary platforms, something that came up during their get together, according to Axios.

Paramount +

Discussions between Zaslav and Shari Redstone have also occurred, the outlet reported.

On Thursday morning, FOX Business’ Charles Gasparino reported Zaslav had “discussed a possible purchase” with Bakish “of Shari Redstone’s ‘controlling’ stake in parent National Amusements,” characterizing the talks as “very preliminary.”

At the beginning of the month, reports arose about Paramount Global and Apple looking at potentially pairing up their separate platforms in some sort of Paramount+ and Apple TV+ bundle for streaming viewers. Any potential merger of Warner Bros. Discovery, which operates Max and Discovery+, and Paramount Global would likely curb further consideration of such a move.

APPLE, PARAMOUNT REPORTEDLY EYE STREAMING DEAL

Warner Bros. Discovery said in early November that its global subscriber count across its HBO, Max and Discovery+ direct-to-consumer streaming services totaled 95.1 million at the end of the third quarter. Meanwhile, roughly 63 million people had subscriptions to Paramount Global’s Paramount+.

HBO Max and Discovery+

Shares of Paramount Global have experienced an over 10% decline since the start of the year. For Warner Bros. Discovery, its stock price has climbed 18%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PARA PARAMOUNT GLOBAL 14.99 -0.51 -3.26%
WBD WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY INC. 11.35 -0.32 -2.70%

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