Warner Bros Discovery Is Negotiating A $500 Million Deal To Sell Publishing Assets - Eastern Mirror
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Arts and Entertainment

Warner Bros Discovery is negotiating a $500 million deal to sell publishing assets

By IANS Updated: Jun 23, 2023 7:16 pm
Warner Bros Discovery is negotiating a $500 million deal to sell publishing assets
Warner Bros Discovery is negotiating a $500 million deal to sell publishing assets

LOS ANGELES — Warner Bros Discovery is reportedly negotiating to sell around half of the well-known Warner studio’s film and TV music-publishing assets for approximately $500 million.

As per Variety, the rights are “slightly less than half” of the catalogue, with a price of around $500 million. The assets are likely to go to a major label, with Sony said to be in the lead.

The catalogue is believed to include music from films such as ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Evita’, ‘Sweeney Todd’, ‘Rent’, several ‘Batman’ films and many more titles, as well as songs from films such as ‘As Time Goes By’ from ‘Casablanca’.

Top attorney Allen Grubman will be overseeing the deal for Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Variety quoted observers as saying that many of the company’s assets are more than a half-century old and are “declining” in value and are difficult to exploit. The catalogue is currently under a multi-year administration deal with Universal Music Publishing.

Variety further states that the deal would be a welcome one for the company and its investors at a tumultuous time that includes a writers strike that has crippled Hollywood and 100 layoffs across its Discovery and Turner brands (with more expected in the coming months), not to mention Zaslav’s recent firing of his personally selected CNN CEO Chris Licht after just one year, and the network’s controversial town hall with former president Donald Trump.

The windfall from such a sale – coming at the top of a still-booming market for music catalogues – would help the company to pay down a $49.5 billion debt.

The report also comes amid a drastically changing environment for the television business as a whole. Domestic cable channels – including Discovery, TNT, TBS, TLC, HGTV, Food Network and CNN – were once the envy of the industry in terms of viewership and profitability.

But the fast-changing pay TV marketplace and the rise of on-demand streaming has upended the reliable cable TV earnings power that made the former Time Warner a dynamo in the 1990s and early 2000s.

According to an earlier report by Deadline, Warner Bros Discovery is also set to strike a deal with Netflix where the latter will stream some of the HBO titles.

If the deal materialises, it will be the first time in a decade that HBO shows will run on a rival platform. Reportedly, the first project of this arrangement will be the comedy series ‘Insecure’.

By IANS Updated: Jun 23, 2023 7:16:37 pm
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