Warner Bros. is purging programming,
Sometimes you wonder why someone buys a bright shiny object that needs maintenance and then doesn’t take care of that bright shiny object, because that person overspent to buy the bright shiny object. David Zarsav was the CEO of Discovery Communications in May 2021 when it was announced that Zaslav would be the CEO of a Discovery-AT&T WarnerMedia merged company. One of the company’s properties is the National Basketball Association’s video product. Two and a half years remain on the deal. Leagues like to start negotiating a television-video rights agreement long before the expiration of a contract. The NBA would probably like to get some deal in place sometime during 2023 but Zaslav may pass. Zarsav said that his company does not “have to have the NBA,” and added that a new deal would have to “be a deal for the future,” instead of one “for the past.” In other words Zarsav doesn’t want to spend billions of dollars on the product.
Warner Bros. has NBA games on TNT, and operates the league’s digital platforms, including NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA League Pass. The company has retooled CNN and been shedding product. Zaslav reduced the amount of original content on the streaming service HBO Max. A nearly finished Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt was aborted. For whatever reason, Warner Bros. removed many of Warner Bros’ animated programs from streaming platforms and pulling most of the service’s content in general, including Final Space, Infinity Train, Summer Camp Island, Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, and several hundred episodes of Sesame Street. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s 30 owners know Zaslav may not be bluffing as he is pinching pennies and that might not be good news but there are other companies that are willing to spend on sports properties.
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