WarnerMediaLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 12/14/18 at 5:45PM EST
TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly has been tasked with launching WarnerMedia's streaming service
Reilly, who has developed hit shows like The Shield and The Office in stints at FX, Fox and NBC, will oversee programming for WarnerMedia's new streaming service. Reilly will continue serving as TBT/TNT president and Turner chief creative officer.
Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 10:56PM EST
Netflix proves it's the Walmart of media with its hefty Friends deal
“I compared Netflix one time to Walmart, not derogatorily,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Tuesday at the UBS media conference. “It was taken derogatorily. But when I’m shopping and I say I need something XYZ, I go to Walmart. Well, if you’re looking for video content regardless of what it is, people will go to Netflix because it’s just a warehouse, and it’s an impressive warehouse of content.” As Michael Schneider points out, "the perception that Netflix offers almost everything is what keeps subscribers willing to keep paying $10.99 a month, even if in actuality there’s plenty of TV that can’t be found (and never will be) on the service. Netflix has become shorthand for' 'all things TV' in less than a decade, thanks to little competition and a willingness by Hollywood studios to license popular off-net shows like Friends, Full House, and The Office for a handsome fee... And the amazing thing is, even as they finally wake up and scramble to create their own services to combat Netflix’s domination, the traditional Hollywood studios still can’t resist that sweet, sweet cash." ALSO: WarnerMedia may not want to keep Friends streaming rights all to itself because it would have to pay expensive streaming fees.
Posted Tuesday 12/04/18 at 8:48PM EST
Hulu and Apple were reportedly also interested in acquiring Friends -- Netflix deal could be a preview of The Office streaming rights
Recode reports Hulu and Apple helped push the push the value of Friends reruns to the "around" $100-million mark that Netflix was willing to pay (or $70 million to $80 milllion, according to The Hollywood Reporter). Recode's Peter Kafka explains AT&T's new deal that will give Netflix the rights to Friends for 2019, but gives WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service the chance to stream the show afterwards. "In part that’s because there’s some chicken-and-egg going on here," says Kafka. "Friends is a valuable asset, so WarnerMedia would naturally want that asset in its own service instead of someone else’s... unless that WarnerMedia service ends up being a flop, in which case stashing Friends there means it is a wasted asset. So here’s the hedge WarnerMedia has ended up with: After 2019, WarnerMedia has the ability to pull Friends from Netflix altogether, and keep the show as an exclusive. Or it can let Netflix stream the show as well, at a discount of about 25 percent. Which means there’s a scenario where WarnerMedia can get another $75 million a year from Netflix and still use the show as a key part of its own streaming service." Kafka says this could be a preview of what happens to The Office rerun rights when they expire on Netflix because Comcast is considering its own streaming service.
Posted Tuesday 12/04/18 at 5:50PM EST
Netflix's new Friends deal is actually worth between $70 million to $80 million for 2019 streaming rights
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter says The New York Times report that the deal is worth "around $100 million" was exaggerated. Even by shelling out $70 million to $80 million for Friends streaming rights for 2019, Netflix is paying more than double what it has been paying for the past four years -- $30 million a year.
Posted Tuesday 12/04/18 at 1:01PM EST
Friends reruns will stream on Netflix and also likely on WarnerMedia's new streaming service
Source: The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal reports of Netflix's potential new non-exclusive deal for Friends streaming rights: "The multiyear pact is in the process of being finalized," but "unlike the usual Netflix content deals, streaming exclusivity for Friends isn’t guaranteed for the length of the deal....Netflix will continue to be the exclusive streaming home of Friends for 2019. After that, WarnerMedia has an option to put the show on its own streaming platforms either exclusively or in a shared window." The lack of streaming exclusivity will likely mean that Netflix will pay less for rights to Friends. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed a non-exclusive deal is in the works. “That’s a Warner Bros. property,” the AT&T Chairman and CEO said this morning. “Well, (Netflix) re-signed it on a non-exclusive basis. What does that mean? That means Friends could go on to our platform as well.” UPDATE: Netflix will pay "around $100 million" to continue streaming Friends in 2019, a big jump from the $30 million a year it was paying.
Posted Monday 12/03/18 at 5:56PM EST
Friends is staying on Netflix, at least for now
Fans of Friends reruns on Netflix series went into a tizzy after a message on Netflix's Friends page stated that the series was "Available Until 01/01/2019," which led to a petition to save Friends on Netflix. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter today the "departure is a rumor." The message has since been deleted from the Netflix Friends page. The message seemed believable because WarnerMedia is planning to launch its own streaming service, and it is believed that Friends will be major part of its package. But Entertainment Weekly and Variety are reporting that there may be talks between Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for the streaming service to retain the streaming rights. Friends, which debuted on Netflix on Jan. 1, 2019, has been one of its most popular shows. UPDATE: Netflix tweets Friends will be available "throughout 2019."
Posted Friday 10/26/18 at 1:44PM EDT
FilmStuck is shutting down
Source: The Verge
WarnerMedia plans to end the popular independent film streaming service, a partnership of Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection, two years after it launched. FilmStruck will formally shut down on Nov. 29.
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 3:23PM EDT
Netflix is dominating streaming by spending $18.6 billion on content
Source: The New York Times
"That’s why investors are mad for Netflix," explains Edmund Lee of Netflix's outsize spending that's far more than traditional companies like Disney and NBCUniversal. "They’re betting on its unorthodox media model: spend big now and reap a massive subscriber base (and big profits) later. Possibly much later. The service’s current tally of 130 million customers beat Wall Street estimates, but investors are ultimately counting on 300 million, or more. The size of that number explains why Netflix is valued so highly relative to other entertainment businesses. The company’s market capitalization currently stands at approximately $156 billion. Disney, by comparison, is valued at about $174 billion. Those figures look out of whack when comparing the size of the companies. Netflix had $14.9 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in profit for the last 12 months. Disney generated $58 billion in revenue and $10.1 billion in profit for the 12 months ending June 30...In other words, Disney made eight times more money than Netflix, but it’s only worth about 12 percent more. Another way to consider it: Netflix investors are paying about $120 for every $1 of profit it generates. For Disney, investors are paying about $17."
Posted Tuesday 10/16/18 at 9:10PM EDT
How will the loss of Friends impact Netflix?
Thanks to Netflix, Friends still has massive viewership in the United States and Britain. But the classic NBC sitcom is likely to disappear from Netflix next year as WarnerMedia launches its own streaming service, leaving a giant hole in Netflix's content library.
Posted Wednesday 10/10/18 at 1:29PM EDT
A WarnerMedia streaming service featuring HBO is set to launch in late 2019
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The new streaming service will include WarnerMedia entertainment brands, excluding CNN. HBO will be part of the service, but it will continue to be sold as a standalone subscription.
Posted Wednesday 7/25/18 at 3:24AM EDT
HBO's new overseer from AT&T confirms he wants more programming from the pay cable network
But WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey says a recent New York Times story on his plans for HBO, which implied that he wanted it to become broad and compete with Netflix, had not “effectively characterized what we are about." Stankey said he would pursue "a very responsible investment" in new shows at HBO. The team at HBO “feels comfortable that we can flex up on development in a way that rounds out the schedule very nicely,” Stankey said during an AT&T earnings call, adding: "We have a tremendous amount of great projects already in the funnel." ALSO: Stankey wants to have enough content so HBO subscribers don't cancel for parts of the year.
Posted Friday 6/15/18 at 10:55PM EDT
AT&T executive taking over HBO, TBS, TNT and CNN promises a hands-off approach -- even when it comes to Samantha Bee and Bill Maher
Source: The New York Times
AT&T's John Stankey, 55, is now in charge of the $31 billion conglomerate that comprises Warner Bros. film studios, Turner and HBO as part of the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The company is changing its name to WarnerMedia. Stankey says he'll take a hands-off approach to the creative side of WarnerMedia. When asked about President Trump constantly attacking CNN, Stankey said: "Well, first of all the folks at CNN will continue to do what they do without my involvement or intervention. I think they do that incredibly very well, and they will continue to do that under my leadership just like they did the day before I showed up here." When asked about Bee and Maher -- and her recent Full Frontal controversy -- Stankey said his networks will continue having the same freedom they currently enjoy. "People who are running the creative process are professionals at running the creative process," he says. "I don’t believe that AT&T — the historical AT&T — by its nature brings much capability or intellectual property to do that better." ALSO: AT&T plans to give HBO a bigger budget to compete with Netflix.