John Malone Sees NBCU in Future Deals with Warner-Discovery

John Malone, businessman and former chief executive of Tele-Communications Inc., attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 7, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
John Malone (Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Cable mogul and key Discovery shareholder John Malone sees potential deals in the future between Comcast’s NBCUniversal and the combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery as the media business continues to consolidate.

Speaking on CNBC Monday Malone said he’s talked with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

“If the regulatory environment permitted, down the road, all kids of relationships could be contemplated between this enterprise that we’re creating and Brian’s enterprise,” Malone said. “I think there are many opportunities for [Warner Media-Discovery] to work with NBCUniversal to develop successful businesses."

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

Malone, always looking ahead for another deal, said Roberts wanted Comcast to acquire WarnerMedia, but didn’t want problems with regulators. Regulatory issues made Discovery a good partner for AT&T, which was looking to spin off its media business.

AT&T last week announced a deal to spin off its WarnerMedia unit and combine it with Discovery. 

With the TV business pivoting to streaming, media companies are scrambling for scale. Comcast was outbid for 21st Century Fox when Rupert Murdoch decided to sell his company to the Walt Disney Co. 

And Wall Street was abuzz with rumors and reports that AT&T and Comcast would be better off combining their media businesses than pursuing their strategies of seeking synergy from controlling both content and distribution.

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.