By Dawn Chmielewski
March 14 (Reuters) – Discovery Inc Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels on Monday gave the most concrete details yet about the media company’s plans to combine its Discovery+ streaming service with HBO Max once the acquisition closes. from WarnerMedia.
Wiedenfels said the services would come together in order to create a more consumer-friendly product, with HBO Max’s more “masculine” scripted series complementing Discovery’s reality shows, with its largely female audience.
“The buying power of HBO Max, combined with the holding power of Discovery’s content, I think is going to lead to a powerful DTC (direct-to-consumer) product,” Wiedenfels said at the annual HBO Media Conference. Deutsche Bank Communication, Internet and Telecommunications, using the industry terms for streaming.
The merger of the two services, following Discovery’s $43 billion acquisition of AT&T by WarnerMedia, was an expected deal announced in May 2021.
Wiedenfels said the company needs to “harmonize” the separate technology platforms to offer a single streaming product, with more than 200,000 hours of movies and TV episodes. There will be an ad-free service and a less expensive ad-supported tier.
The deal, which is scheduled to close in the second quarter, passed the US Justice Department’s antitrust review last month, clearing another key hurdle to closing.
Discovery+ has 22 million subscriptions and HBO Max, along with the HBO television network, has 73.8 million subscriptions.
(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing in Spanish by Vicente Valdivia)