AT&T’s Discovery deal is about taking on Disney Plus

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Early Monday morning, AT&T announced a sudden change in direction: it reached an agreement to spin off WarnerMedia — the conglomerate of Warner Bros., HBO, CNN, DC Comics, and more — into a new company to be merged with Discovery. While Discovery’s roster of the Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, and Food Network is a whole lot less exciting than WarnerMedia’s lineup of Batman, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones, the combined company brings together the components needed to build a new streaming giant. And it’s already clear that this new Discovery-Warner hybrid has Disney in its sights.

“It’s a combination of bulking up both sides of the business, creating a more compelling direct-to-consumer offering for HBO Max or Discovery Plus,” Neil…

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