David Zaslav Pledges Cost Discipline After WarnerMedia Merger As Streaming Spending Wars Intensify

Discovery CEO promises that the company is not in a race to win the “spending wars” on content when it closes its deal to acquire AT&T’s WarnerMedia and become Warner Bros. Discovery.

“We’re going to spend more on content — but you’re not going to see us come in and say, ‘Alright, we’re spending $5 billion more on content,” Zaslav said during an investor call Thursday to discuss the company’s Q4 earnings results.

Zaslav says the new company — which will run both Discovery’s current major streamer Discovery Plus and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max — will be “looking to monetize our IP to grow the value of the overall company.”

Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels echoed Zaslav’s point, saying “it’s not about winning” and “spending more money doesn’t score goals.”

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Discovery revealed Thursday it reached 22 million paying streaming subscribers across its portfolio of offerings by the end of 2021. Discovery Plus accounts for the bulk of that customer tally.

More to come…

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