Former VP at Warner Bros Discovery Inc
- Warner Bros Discovery’s (NASDAQ: WBD) operating environment – cost-cutting measures and business strategy
- Competition vs Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Disney (NYSE: DIS) Paramount (NASDAQ: PARA) and others
- International market presence and growth opportunities
- Outlook for 2023 and beyond, highlighting ongoing post-merger challenges
Could you share an overview of Warner Bros Discovery’s operating environment and pull out 2-3 trends or drivers that you see impacting the company?
Warner Bros Discovery is a fairly young company, with the bringing together of WarnerMedia and Discovery taking place in April 2022. Could you walk us through the likely rationale behind the merger and your impression of what it has been so far?
You mentioned the operational challenges that the legacy WarnerMedia has and that may be present with Warner Bros Discovery. One of the reasons behind the merger is the opportunity to drive synergies and see expenses be cut down. What exactly is challenging operationally and how could the company approach solving those issues?
You highlighted how uncertainty around the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger, also from a regulatory standpoint of getting it through, did perhaps set the company back in its ability to move into streaming and get that launched. Could you expand upon some of the challenges and consequences of having that sort of delay? How is that impacting the ability of Warner Bros Discovery to compete within the streaming space?
One of the things on the merger to-do list is the combining of HBO Max with Discovery+ to have one single streaming offering for the company. Could you walk us through what you see as the value proposition for consumers for that combined entity? How appealing will it be and what is the success that it may have in different markets?
You highlighted the strength of HBO’s brand, certainly in scripted dramas, but Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav is much more in the camp of unscripted content and what Discovery has excelled with in the past. At Warner Bros Discovery in summer 2022 there were headlines of cutting a couple of major releases, Batgirl being a large one, but also decisions being made around what goes to production development and what is being released. How do you see the company thinking about its content development going forwards, considering the heightened scrutiny on content spend and the generally higher costs associated with scripted dramas vs the unscripted content that Discovery has its legacy success with?
You mentioned that David Zaslav can perhaps see some opportunities to leverage content to truly monetise it at the global scale with the legacy WarnerMedia assets. Could you go into some more specifics about what that looks like? Which channels are worth taking advantage of and what are the levers that you think he should be looking at here?
You highlighted some of the technical challenges that Warner Bros Discovery has with its platform internationally and that there isn’t one unified platform, but 10 operating around the world. Could you walk us through what this looks like day-to-day? Why exactly does the company have this set-up and what are some of the challenges associated with having this proliferation of different set-ups?
You mentioned a comparison with Netflix internationally and how, for a simple logistical case of trying to digest content, there are advantages for what it has vs what HBO and Warner Bros Discovery has. How are different players positioned internationally? Which are better suited for success, given their footprints and where may others have challenges?
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