Warner Bros. Discovery Is Built for the Streaming Wars – If It Can Shed Legacy Baggage | Analysis

”They are simultaneously a Netflix competitor and an old media behemoth, which is a very difficult tightrope walk,“ one industry expert tells TheWrap

Much has been said about the immense content vault Warner Bros. Discovery now houses and the advantage it gives the newly merged company in the streaming wars — specifically in the competition with Netflix and Disney. But David Zaslav’s company still faces major challenges, several experts told TheWrap, including $55 billion in debt and a host of legacy cable channels.

Industry watchers have been salivating for months over the potential of marrying WarnerMedia’s HBO and HBO Max with Discovery’s streamer Discovery+ into a powerhouse entity that can compete with front runners Netflix and Disney+ in the streaming wars. The $46 billion merger puts the company in striking distance of its rivals — with a combined 96 million worldwide subscribers for HBO, HBO Max and Discovery’s direct-to-consumer video services, including Discovery+.

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Diane Haithman

Senior Entertainment Business Reporter • diane@thewrap.com • @dhaithman