Tag Archives: at&t

Warner Bros. Polling to See if its AT&T Connection and The Lincoln Project Will Hurt Its Brands

The Warner Bros. A-List Community is an interesting, and not every known, tool of Warner Bros. Through it, the company polls its members to get their opinions on everything from box art to their habits consuming media. Questions often are more along the line to see if the community is familiar with a brand, movie, or tv show. But, based on the latest poll, the media company is a bit worried about how its connection to AT&T might impact it.

Recent court documents recently revealed that AT&T was pretty vital in the creation of One America News, OAN. The company provides OAN tens of millions of dollars in revenue. AT&T was so vital that OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr. testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

OAN is a rightwing news network that AT&T wanted to to compete with FOX News and since has helped, and continues, to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. It became a favorite of former President Trump who’d wave his support when attacking Fox who he felts wasn’t supporting him enough.

90% of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms like DirectTV. Without it, Herring has testified that the network would be worth zero.

AT&T has pushed back a bit about this releasing a statement after initially declining to comment about OAN’s testimoney. The statement included:

AT&T has never had a financial interest in OAN’s success and does not ‘fund’ OAN,”. When AT&T acquired DIRECTV, we refused to carry OAN on that platform, and OAN sued DIRECTV as a result. Four years ago, DIRECTV reached a commercial carriage agreement with OAN, as it has with hundreds of other channels and as OAN has done with the other TV providers that it carries on its programming.

The decision of whether to renew the carriage agreement upon its expiration will be up to DIRECTV, which is now a separate company outside of AT&T.

According to court documents, AT&T and OAN had a relationship to the point that AT&T offered to acquire a 5% equity stake in OAN and AWE but a different deal was agreed upon. OAN also promised to cast a “positive light” on AT&T during newscasts.

So, how does Warner Bros. fit in?

AT&T is the parent company of Time Warner which then became WarnerMedia. That includes Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, TruTV, DC Comics, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and a 50% stake in The CW. This year, AT&T announced that WarnerMedia would be spun off and merge with Discovery, Inc. for $43 billion.

How does AT&T’s relationship with OAN impact all of those brands?

That’s what the Warner Bros. poll wants to figure out. The poll, run through its community, starts easy enough asking the familiarity with certain brands. Then it shifts to how often individuals watch or interact with them.

Then, the whole things gets very political.

After a rather normal setup, the poll then asks the person’s political affiliation and how they see themselves on the political affiliation.

Why? Because Warner Bros. wants to see how The Lincoln Project is impacting its brands and who they’re influencing.

The Lincoln Project launched in late 2019 formed by former and current Republicans who were against the far-right lurch of the party and its takeover by Donald Trump and his supporters. The organization has supported “moderate” Republicans who have rejected Trumpism and Democrats, taking a stand against the move to the far-right.

The Lincoln Project has launched the “Hang Up on AT&T” initiative taking on the telecom’s support of OAN and the sedition and white nationalism that OAN has promoted. They’ve also gone after AT&T for supporting elected officials who have restricted voting rights.

Warner Bros., through their community, are asking if that is impacting how members interact with Warner Bros. brands. While The Lincoln Project has had issues of its own, the organization has been effective getting Toyota to stop donations to Republicans who have contested the 2020 Presidential election.

That’s a pretty interesting and rather out in the open fact finding mission by Warner Bros. which are often tasks taken on by polling companies and kept on the hush hush.

It’s clear The Lincoln Project and their campaign is on Warner Bros.’ mind and their weighing their options based on the impact of The Lincoln Project’s latest campaign.

AT&T Announces $43 billion deal Merging WarnerMedia with Discovery

WarnerMedia

AT&T has been struggling with what to do with WarnerMedia after its acquisition of Time Warner about three years ago. The tech company had purchased the content company during the rush for tech companies to deliver exclusive content and entice subscribers to their services like cellular coverage. That trend fizzled as quickly as it started and WarnerMedia has been generally rudderless with directions that seemed to change every few months.

Today brings news that AT&T that it is creating a new media company with Discovery to manage WarnerMedia.

AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. AT&T will receive an amount of $43 billion a combination of cash, debt, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T shareholders will receive stock for 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders will own 29%. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company. The board will have 13 members, seven initially from AT&T and six from Discovery, including Zaslav.

The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2022 but still needs to be approved by regulators.

Discovery has been making moves through acquisition and consolidating its organization. The company acquired Scripps in 2017 which included HGTV and Travel Channel in a $14.6 billion deal. The company has done well pushing its non-scripted entertainment. With their own app, the company has 15 million paying subscribers. HBO and HBO Max have about 64 million subscribers. Discovery’s control of WarnerMedia would give the company a boost in scripted entertainment and a natural extension of their brand.

Around the Tubes

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace

We’ve got a whole bunch of news for you to enjoy in this morning roundup. Enjoy some stories, and reviews, you might have missed from around the web.

Saturday Evening Post – Philip Wylie: The Unsung Hero of Super-Heroes – Some interesting comic book history.

How to Love Comics – Your Guide to DC Comics’ Earth One Graphic Novels – If you want some graphic novels you can just pick up and enjoy not worrying about continuity, these are some good suggestions.

Newsarama – AT&T COO: Warner Bros. ‘Rethinking’ Theatrical Model For a ‘New Normal’ – Duh?

Review

Newsarama – Eat and Love Yourself
Newsarama – Josie and the Pussycats in Space
Newsarama – Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #1

HBO Max Gets Green Lantern, Strange Adventures, DC Superhero High, Doom Patrol, and More

DC logo

HBO Max got a massive amount of information dumped today with reveals of what subscribers can expect.

The digital service is showing some love for fans of DC Comics with multiple shows. DC and HBO have the same parent company.

DC films of the last decade will be available within the first year of launch as well as every Superman and Batman movie from the last 40 years. Joker will debut on the service in 2020 as well.

But, it’s not just about movies, it’s television shows as well.

Greg Berlanti is developing a pair of shows for the service. Strange Adventures will be a DC superhero anthology that features DC characters from across their history. A series that focuses on the world of Green Lantern is also being worked on but details are scarce.

Also announced is a teen comedy, DC Superhero High from Elizabeth Banks. The series concept sounds a bit like the popular young reader comic series DC Super Hero Girls.

Finally, HBO Max will compete a bit with the DC Universe app as Doom Patrol will debut on the platform.

HBO Max will be available for $14.99 launching May 2020. It will be free for those with HBO and AT&T service and those with HBO Now will get HBO Max. Those who subscribe to HBO through a cable provider are currently in the dark.

SDCC 2019: DC and AT&T Team to Bring ‘The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T’

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Batman, DC and AT&T have announced The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T, a massive, interactive exhibition that includes the largest-ever collection of Batman-related props, costumes and vehicles. The immersive pop-up museum and gaming-centric installation will transport fans into the crime-fighting world of the Dark Knight and will be open to the public at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park at 10 a.m. PT from Thursday, July 18th through Sunday, July 21st. No SDCC badge is required to enter this free exhibition.

The Batman Experience, custom-built by AT&T with DC, will include activities on all three levels of the Museum’s staggering 68,000 square feet space. A sneak peak of the exhibition will be available to attendees at The Gathering, a special ceremony inducting Batman into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 17 at 5 p.m., the first time a comic book character has ever been given that honor. Tickets are available.

Featured elements of The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T include:

  • The Dark Knight Dive is the centerpiece attraction of THE BATMAN EXPERIENCE and a one-of-a-kind VR skydiving experience into the Gotham City. By combining a skydive booth with the magic of VR goggles and a helmet in the shape of a Batman cowl, gamers and Batman fans will enjoy a 4D interactive experience. Visitors will virtually fly through Gotham City in pursuit of the Scarecrow, who in attempting to take over the city, unleashes his Fear gas and creates a harrowing journey for fans through Batman’s 80 years of friends and foes.
  • The Batcave gaming lounge will feature all generations of Batman video and arcade games straight from the DC archives – examples include Warner Bros. titles such as Batman The Brave And The Bold (Wii or 3DS), LEGO Batman 3 (PS4), Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) and Injustice 2 (PS4) – and are all available to play as part of THE BATMAN EXPERIENCE.
  • Hundreds of rare pieces of iconic DC comic book art and large-scale film and television props, including several from Tim Burton’s groundbreaking “Batman” film such as the Batmobile and Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton. The original Batman feature film is celebrating its own 30th anniversary this year. Joining these classic pieces will be a new car created by “Wayne Technology” that will give fans a taste of their future entertainment experiences in autonomous cars with 5G.
  • WHAAM! KABOOM! POW! The Rogue Gallery Rumble is an interactive punching bag experience that uses projection mapping and lights to trigger classic and iconic animations and sounds throughout the space.
  • A special 6-foot Batman Black & White Statue designed by acclaimed artist and writer Todd McFarlane will be unveiled on July 17, marking the 100th statue in the line. The one-of-a-kind life-size version of the 100th statue will be displayed throughout SDCC along with the other 99 Batman Black & White figures from DC Collectibles.