More media deals on anvil says Discovery CEO David Zaslav, as streaming war intensifies

More media deals on anvil says Discovery CEO David Zaslav, as streaming war intensifies

Zaslav played a key role in AT&T’s blockbuster deal with Discovery Inc this May.

David Zaslav

New Delhi: Emerging fresh from the blockbuster deal that led to Discovery's merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia, company's CEO David Zaslav said that media consolidation will only accelerate from here, and he intends to be a catalyst.

“We’re not done yet,” Zaslava told reporters on Tuesday, as he reached Sun Valley, Idaho to attend the annual Allen & Co. conference. “The talk of the week is going to be that the industry is going to start consolidating a little bit more.”

The streaming war is heating up this summer, with a slew of media mergers shaking up the global entertainment industry. In May, AT&T agreed to spin off its media operations with Discovery Inc in May, to create a new global entertainment and media business, named Warner Bros. Discovery to be led by Zaslav. The deal could close in eight months, though it may also take longer, he had earlier said.

Soon thereafter E-commerce giant Amazon announced its$8.45 billion deal to acquire the film and television company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer  to earn more big-spending Prime subscribers as it competes with Netflix and Disney Plus.

“We’re all vying for eyeballs and people’s time, and we’re all telling stories,” Bloomberg quoted Zaslav saying. “I think the Amazon deal with MGM is interesting. It reinforces that we need to be bigger.”

Zaslav’s key role in getting AT&T’s WarnerMedia to align itself with the network he leads has ensured that stays in charge of the company through at least the end of 2027. His previous employment contract effective till 2023, was extended this June.

The Sun Valley Conference, from 6 to 10 July, is attended every year by who’s who of the finance, tech and media worlds, holding deliberations on the key media trends. The annual media finance conference hosted and funded by private investment firm Allen and Company could not be held in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg; Disney chief executive Bob Chapek, Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos are other key names who are likely to attend the conference.