AT&T Loses 4.1M Streaming And Pay-TV Subscribers In 2019; News Corp Launches Knewz.com

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The Cost Of Content

AT&T is still bleeding pay-TV subscribers as it beefs up its investment in HBO Max, which is driving losses in the short term. Consolidated revenues for the quarter were $46.8 billion but would have been $48 billion without the HBO Max spending. “We expect pressure from heavy HBO Max investment, which you saw begin in the fourth quarter," said CFO John Stephens on the earnings call Wednesday. The telco lost 1.2 million subscribers across its pay-TV and streaming services, bringing its total losses for the year to roughly 4.1 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And WarnerMedia also faced pressure in the quarter, with revenues down 9.5% to $2.4 billion, as it made a “strategic decision” to invest upfront in flagship shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” which it believes will “pay off over the long term,” said WarnerMedia CEO and AT&T COO John Stankey. At HBO, operating expenses grew 16.4% to $1.2 billion "due to higher programming, distribution and marketing expenses related to the upcoming launch of HBO Max,” the company said. "We have very high expectations for HBO Max," Stankey said. More.

All The Knewz.com Fit To Print

News Corp launched its news aggregator, Knewz.com, on Wednesday to compete with major platforms such as Facebook and Google for attention, The Wall Street Journal reports. The service launches with 400 local and national news outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and titles across its own portfolio. The platform will also feature conservative outlets such as The Nation and Newsmax, which News Corp believes are demoted in major platforms feeds. “There are mastheads from across the political and regional spectrum, and premium publishers will not be relegated in the rankings,” News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement. A longtime antagonist of platforms and their treatment of publishers, News Corp will not charge publishers for distributing their content. Articles will link directly to publisher sites and feature outlet names prominently, and Knewz.com will share data with publishers. More.

Can’t Comply

Five major ad trade groups, including the ANA, 4A’s and the IAB, wrote a joint letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asking him to delay enforcement of CCPA, CNBC reports. The groups argue that because the regulation is not yet final, their members are left “uncertain concerning their ultimate compliance obligations,” and given the law’s complexity and lack of clarity, will be unable to comply. The trade orgs asked Becerra to delay implementation until at least six months after the regulations are finalized on July 1. Companies that don’t comply are subject to $2,500 per unintentional violation and $7,500 per intentional violation. More.

But Wait, There’s More

You’re Hired

 

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