Comcast CEO Brian Roberts on Warner Bros. Discovery – “What AT&T does sort of speaks for itself”

One by one, the media titans are delicately weighing in on last month’s deals that will reshape the landscape with Comcast CEO Brian roberts saying AT&T‘s move to unload WarnerMedia “speaks for itself”.

“I look at our business and I don’t think there is a similarity. I think that for us, we are very satisfied with our talent, our assets, our culture, our resources. I believe we have a unique company, well positioned to compete vigorously for talent, customers and growth in the years to come, ”he told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today in response to a question from shareholders.

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the NBCUniversal The parent company had been seen as an interested partner in WarnerMedia despite overlaps that could fuel regulatory concerns. It could have played a role for MGM as well, although most parties pulled out as the price rose and Amazon grabbed the studio for $ 8.45 billion. But Roberts is right, AT&T had a particular set of issues – the first being the billions it has to spend to buy spectrum and deploy 5G is not compatible with the heavy investment in content required to develop HBO Max.

AT&T to transform WarnerMedia into a new company merged with Discovery in a $ 43 billion deal expected to close in the middle of next year.

Connections, driven by streaming considerations, shed light on NBUs peacock, launched last summer. Roberts said the service was “a good start” but acknowledged that “the streaming world is extremely competitive”.

The “differentiator” was to make Peacock essentially free from the start, adding additional content to a premium version. The pandemic, which ended the Olympics last summer and halted production, has reduced the new content the streamer relied on to help raise awareness.

Peacock reached 42 million subscribers in the first quarter.

“It is the library and the relationships we have with our partners that have helped Peacock become a resounding success in the first year. A lot had to do with Xfinity and the Peacock bundle, and an easy way to research the platform. With the return to production, “We will only see progress.”

Of the 42 million registrations, executives estimated that about a third are actively watching Peacock each month. The WWE Network, which Peacock absorbed in March, has helped boost viewing, but the service is still not provided by Amazon Fire TV or Samsung, the No. 1 smart TV maker in the United States. This hampered the deployment, as did the impact. of Covid-19 on production.

Meanwhile, “We will continue to invest in our NBC networks and our cable networks and find a good balance,” he said. Cable and broadcasting continue to “help this transition and contribute value, whether it’s advertising, fees, or selling content to streaming services.” It is therefore a complex ecosystem, totally nested. Some companies are well positioned to take advantage of this change ”, others are not.

“For our business, I’m really happy to know where we’re sitting. “

He sidestepped the question of whether theme parks would require proof of vaccination. Rules and protocols are constantly updated, he said, and the teams have done “a great job working with local, municipal, state and CDC guidelines.”

Across the company, he said the idea was for “most employees to be back in the office most of the time” by September.

Dade Hayes contributed to this report

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