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Lack of Major Sports Moments Contributes to WBD’s Poor Quarter

  • Warner Bros. Discovery reported $11.1 billion in fourth-quarter revenue.
  • The company's TV segment declined 6% to around $5.5 billion.
A general view of a NBA on TNT logo on the broadcast table before a game.
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September 21, 2023 | Podcast
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Sports might be a sore subject for Warner Bros. Discovery right now.

The company reported $11.01 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, falling short of analysts’ estimates of $11.36 billion. 

The company’s TV networks segment, which includes Discovery, TNT, TBS, CNN, TLC, and Eurosport, fell 6% to around $5.5 billion, partially attributed to major sporting events taking place on other networks — including the men’s World Cup, NFL, and college football.

Advertising revenue fell 14%.

Warner Bros. Discovery posted a loss of $2.1 billion for the three months ending Dec. 31 and ended with $49.5 billion in gross debt. 

In November, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports cut more than 10% of its workforce, affecting around 700 employees across Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, and the company’s studio operations. 

An NBA Block

During the quarter — and a month after Turner Sports’ TNT extended contracts of all four members of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” — Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said the company will take a “disciplined” approach to NBA media negotiations, adding: “We don’t have to have the NBA.”

TNT currently has a deal with the league that runs through the 2024-25 season. Combined with ESPN, the deals total $24 billion. 

Earlier this month, the NBA All-Star Game had its worst-ever viewership, with an average of 4.6 million viewers across TNT and TBS — a 27% year-over-year decline and a 22% drop from the previous low of 5.9 million in 2021.

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