Discovery-WarnerMedia Deal 'Doesn’t Really Change Much', Says Bob Chapek

Bob Chapek
Disney CEO Bob Chapek (Image credit: Disney)

Asked what impact the big deal combining AT&T’s WarnerMedia with Discovery would have on its competitive position, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek said not much.

Speaking at the JPMorgan media investors conference Monday, Chapek said “we’re pretty happy with the template that we have and the strategies that we have. And we think this frankly doesn't really change much at all.”

Last week AT&T announced that it was spinning off WarnerMedia three years after buying it. It will be merged with Discovery, with the idea that the combined companies will be better able to compete in the streaming wars now enveloping the media business.

The leaders in the subscription business now are Netflix and Disney, with competitors including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and Discovery’s Discovery Plus looking to catch up.

“We remain focused on sort of what got us to the point where we’ve got 100 million households within the first 16 months,” Chapek said. 

The keys to building Disney Plus include the company’s powerhouse franchises, including Marvel and Star Wars. The company also built scaled distribution and expanded worldwide. 

Earlier this month, Disney said the number of Disney Plus subscribers rose to 103.6 million from 94.9 million when the company reported in February.

The number was below Wall Street expectations, which sent Disney stock lower.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.