US telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. is approaching an agreement to combine its media resources, including CNN and HBO, with Discovery Inc, owner of lifestyle television networks such as HGTV and TLC, according to information citing unnamed sources.
The agreement would mark the development AT&TThe acquisition of 108.7 billion US dollars from the media conglomerate Time Warner in 2018, and would stress its recognition that television viewing has shifted to broadcasting, where a scale is required to take on similar Netflix Inc. i Walt Disney Co..
The combination would create a new independent AT&T company that could be valued at $ 150 billion, including debt, the Financial Times reported. Discovery currently has a market value that includes a debt of about $ 30 billion.
According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the news, a deal could be announced later this week.
AT&T and Discovery spokesmen declined to comment.
The proposed deal would bring together one of Hollywood’s most powerful studios, where the Harry Potter and Batman franchises were located, with Discovery’s open-house stable, kitchen and science and nature shows.
With the acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T attempted to create a media and telecommunications plant that combined content and distribution. Still, it proved a costly strategy, as it simultaneously tried to expand next-generation wireless services, and recently borrowed $ 14 billion to buy more wireless spectrum.
AT&T has been trying to relax its debt-laden acquisitions and lighten its balance sheet. In February, it agreed to sell a third of the satellite TV service DirecTV, which it bought in 2015 for about $ 68 billion, from TPG Capital in a deal that valued the business at $ 16.225 billion.
HBO and HBO Max now have 63.9 million worldwide subscribers, compared to more than 100 million for Walt Disney Co.’s Disney + and 207.6 million for Netflix.
Discovery, whose portfolio includes Animal Planet and Discovery channel, reaches 88.3 million households in the United States. Its Discovery + streaming service, which launched in January, has 15 million subscribers.