Early Monday morning, AT&T dropped a bombshell on the entertainment industry by announcing a deal to spin off their WarnerMedia entertainment division and merge it together with Discovery. WarnerMedia includes Warner Bros. Pictures, Home Box Office with its cable TV channels and HBO Max Streaming service, and Turner Entertainment, as well as other media and sports networks. Discovery’s roster of properties includes the Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, Food Network and its Discovery Plus streaming service. In merging these assets, the combined company will be able to offer a wide range of programming in a direct-to-consumer streaming service that can more effectively compete with those offered by Disney, Netflix and Amazon, among others. The new company pledged to invest $20B per year in creating new content, topping Netflix’s announced plans to spend $17B annually and Disney’s to spend $14B–16B per year by 2024.
See also: Inside the Discovery-AT&T Deal: Cute Emails, a Big Loan and Now, a Media Giant (NY Times)