Why Warner Bros Discovery Stock Took A Steep Hit

Warner Bros. Discovery’s stock took a major tumble after an announcement that Comcast is preparing a competitive bid for NBA TV rights. Why is that such a big deal for WBD CEO David Zaslav and co.? 

Also: Major changes continue at Paramount as a potential merger inches closer. What led to Paramount CEO Bob Bakish stepping down and being replaced by an interim trio of executives? Kim Masters and Matt Belloni investigate. 

Comcast’s half-court shot? After years of broadcasting NBA games on TNT, Warner Bros. Discovery might be facing competition from Comcast, who reportedly is planning to bid more than double what the studio currently pays. 

“It’s a $2.5 billion-a-year offer from Comcast to take over the TNT package of games, which will probably even be a little smaller, because they’re carving out a third package that is likely going to go to Amazon, and Disney will take its package for ESPN and its over-the-top service. So that is a huge development and the stock of Warner Discovery dropped 10% on that news,” Belloni says. 

Your move, WBD? Comcast’s planned bid comes at a costly time for Warner Bros. Discovery, making a counter bid an expensive proposition. “Zaslav has been laboring to cut the crippling debt that was put onto this company in this deal that combined Discovery and Warner Brothers, and now having to potentially shell out so much more for basketball… That is not a good thing for them,” Masters speculates. 

What led to Paramount’s demise? After inheriting Paramount Global from her late father Sumner Redstone, Shari Redstone may have been tasked with Mission: Impossible, as Masters puns. “I guess the question is, ‘Is she not capable? Or was it Mission: Impossible, to use a Paramount movie?’ I lean a little bit toward it probably was impossible,” she says. “And yet her leadership, putting Bob Bakish in charge… Who was Bob Bakish to run that company? He made a lot of decisions that were mystifying. Not selling off Showtime being a huge example where they could have got a few billion dollars. It just has been a succession of errors and bad luck.”

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