A Write-Off

A Write-Off

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  • Warner Bros. Discovery is taking a bigger write-off on content and development than it initially anticipated. In a securities filing Wednesday, WBD said that it now expects to take write-offs and impairments related to content and development costs of $2.8 billion to $3.5 billion, up from $2 billion to $2.5 billion as initially projected in October. That reflects an additional charge of $800 million to $1 billion.

  • The media company, formed earlier this year by the merger of AT&T Inc's (T.N) WarnerMedia unit and Discovery Inc. has undertaken a series of cost-cutting measures since the merger, including canceling projects such as the live-action version of the DC Comics character "Batgirl", a planned "Wonder Twins" film, and shutting down the CNN+ streaming news service.

  • The company said on Wednesday that a number of HBO and HBO Max programs will be packaged in a new bundle to be sold to third-party free, ad-supported streaming services. Those shows include Westworld and The Nevers, as well as FBoy Island, Legendary, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Raised by Wolves.

Why it matters

Since completing the merger in the spring, WBD has been aggressively looking to cut costs, both through restructuring, operational savings (like combining its physical footprint and condensing the number of contractors and third-party software providers it uses), as well as in content write-offs. The company is able to receive a tax benefit on the write-downs, though in some cases it could opt to re-sell some content elsewhere, depending on the status of the project.


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