Warner Bros. Discovery reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2022, and revealed that its global DTC subscribers increased 1.1 million to 96.1 million at the end of the period, a slightly addition versus the 95 million subscribers the group reported at the end of the third quarter. According to WBD, the numbers were helped in part by the re-launch of HBO Max on Amazon Channels in December 2022.
Regarding financials, the fourth quarter total revenues were US$11.008 million. Revenues decreased 9% ex-FX compared to the prior year quarter, on a combined basis. Moreover, net loss available to Warner Bros. Discovery was US$2.101 million, and included US$1.850 million of pre-tax amortization from acquisition-related intangible assets and US$1.198 million of pre-tax restructuring expenses.
Furthermore, in the fourth quarter, TBS, TLC, and TNT were among the top-5 cable networks in primetime for adults 25-54. According to the company, there is a continued strength in storytelling highlighted by its 22 nominations and eight wins at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, and its 14 Academy Award nominations, including “Best Picture” and “Best Actor in a Leading Role” nods for Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Elvis.”
Full-year total revenues were US$33.8 billion. Furthermore, total revenues decreased 3% ex-FX compared to the prior year, on a combined basis. At the same time, studios revenues were US$9.7 billion, networks revenues were US$19.3 billion, and DTC revenues were US$7.3 billion.
“With the major restructuring decisions behind us, this year we are focused on building and growing our businesses for the future, and we are off to a great start. We are seeing strong momentum across the enterprise, including our exciting long-term plans for DC Studios, the historic success of our latest HBO series ‘The Last of Us,’ the significant financial and operating gains in DTC, and the record sales of our newest game Hogwarts Legacy,” commented David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer at Warner Bros. Discovery.
“With our unparalleled portfolio of assets and IP, a growing roster of exceptional creative talent, and some of the buzziest storytelling in the industry, we believe we have repositioned our businesses to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead,” Zaslav added.
● NEW “LORD OF THE RINGS” FILMS
During the studio’s quarterly earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery also announced that it is developing new “Lord of the Rings” films to be spearheaded by Warner Bros. Film Group’s CEO and Co-Chairs, Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy. The deal was made between WBD, New Line Cinema and Embracer Group, the current rights holders to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth novels.
While details of the plot for these new films were sparse, De Luca and Abdy hinted in a statement that the new films will go deeper into Middle-earth’s history, beyond what was shown in past feature films. “Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of ‘Lord of the Rings’ on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans. But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure,” they said.
● CORPORATE DEMAND SHARE
With 18.0% corporate demand share, Warner Bros. Discovery is in the top tier – along with Disney (20.2%) — in its ability to both build out a general entertainment streaming service, and increase its revenue by licensing highly in-demand content to competitors, according to Parrot Analytics.
Meanwhile, regarding the future combination of HBO Max and Discovery+, Parrot Analytics noted that the two platforms’ audiences have very little overlap, but combining Discovery+’s total catalog with HBO Max’s will create a service with the most in-demand total catalog with US audiences, higher than even Netflix.
We believe we have repositioned our businesses to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead.” David Zaslav President and CEO at Warner Bros. Discovery