AT&T Gets Q2 Lift From NBA

    • AT&T bounced back from a pandemic dip with a strong second quarter, buoyed by the return of the NBA on WarnerMedia's TNT and TBS.
    • The company is in the process of selling off its media properties.

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AT&T is offloading its media assets — but for now, those properties are paying dividends.

The company posted $44 billion in Q2 revenues on Thursday, a year-over-year boost of 7.6%, and only 2.2% below the pre-pandemic Q2 2019.

The company got a timely assist from the return of the NBA, which is key for WarnerMedia’s TNT and TBS. 

  • WarnerMedia’s revenues rose to $8.8 billion, up 30.7% from Q2 2020.
  • The NBA’s impact was reflected in WarnerMedia’s 48.5% growth in advertising revenue to $1.7 billion. 
  • AT&T is in the process of spinning off WarnerMedia in a $43 billion merger with Discovery. DirecTV is selling $3.1 billion in junk bonds to expedite its own split from AT&T.

While the telecommunications giant is stepping away from owning media properties, it’s more than happy to be the support system for other major media players. AT&T is replacing T-Mobile as the Dish Network’s primary network services provider in a deal worth at least $5 billion. 

AT&T showed the strength of its core offering, adding 1.16 million regular wireless customers in the quarter. That figure nearly quadrupled the 300,000 expected by analysts.