Warner Bros. Discovery-Paramount Merger Talks Have Begun

Warner Bros. Discovery logo in front of screen showing its various products.

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount have had early talks about a potential merger. The news was broken on Axios by their brilliant media reporter Sara Fischer. As she notes, if the deal happens, and that is a big if, it could instigate further industry consolidation. Per the story, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has spoken with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish and Shari Redstone, owner of Paramount’s parent company.

There are a few things to note. Firstly, this a VERY early in the process. Secondly, there are a LOT of legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome before such a deal can be completed. It is surely going to be messy. There is a really good piece laying out the key issues over on Variety. Thirdly, recently there were rumblings about an Apple TV+/Paramount+ coming together. That seems off the table. For now.

One thing is becoming apparent, though. All the speculation that people wouldn’t pay “just £x a month” for an unlimited amount of services is coming true. There is a clear ceiling in how many streamers consumers will subscribe to. Legacy media companies are going to have to think about how they navigate that alongside the decline in linear TV. Expect merger talks to continue in 2024.

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