The next entertainment mega deal may be on the horizon.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish held a meeting this week, a source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.
The moguls discussed the possibility of a merger between the companies, though the source added that it was “very, very early” in talks. Spokespersons for both WBD and Paramount declined to comment. Axios first reported the meeting.
A deal, if it comes to fruition, would bring together two of the entertainment industry’s biggest players, with WBD owning the Warner Bros. film and TV studios, HBO, and the former Turner and Discovery cable channels. It also operates the Max streaming service.
Paramount owns CBS, Paramount Pictures and its robust film and TV studios, and the former Viacom cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon.
Such a deal would likely attract less regulatory scrutiny than other potential mergers, with WBD lacking any domestic broadcast network, and with mostly synergistic businesses. The biggest source of friction would likely be combining the two legacy film and TV studios.
But the synergies would be strong. The CBS broadcast network and its local stations would fill a linear vacuum in WBD’s portfolio, and bolster its sports business, with leagues looking to have broadcast accessibility alongside cable and streaming. Likewise, the CBS Sports and WBD Sports rosters of rights do not overlap (aside from a long-term deal to share March Madness), and it would bring the NFL into the WBD fold.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter