Discovery’s businesses include television channels like Food Network, TLC, and its flagship Discovery Channel with its now famous annual Shark Week programming.

Why AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia after merging with TimeWarner in 2018

AT&T says it’s refocusing its efforts on wireless services—particularly 5G. Last year it spun off DirecTV after just six years of owning the satellite TV service. Merging with TimeWarner was—in part—a bet that cellphone and internet subscribers would be enticed by deals that included access to movies and television. That would provide an advantage to a telecom-owned streaming platform over a content-only company like Netflix.

AT&T wasn’t alone. Amazon supplements its Prime membership with a streaming operation. Apple tries to prop up device sales through its streaming offering. Disney uses its streaming platform to ensure the steady flow of guests into its real (pre-pandemic) money maker, theme parks and consumer products. Nonetheless, AT&T’s spinoff of WarnerMedia is an admission of that dynamic failing to work at the company which traces its history to Alexander Graham Bell and the first telephone.

By shedding its media businesses and focusing on its historic core business of selling access to its communication infrastructure AT&T is trying to make its shareholders more money without having the hassle or strategic tensions of running a content company.

The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

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