Warner Bros. Discovery sees first-quarter profit rise despite TV show slump

Warner Bros. said. Discovery said earnings rose in the first quarter despite a decline in the traditional television audience, as revenue from advertising and distribution increased thanks to the company’s streaming initiatives.

Warner Bros. Discovery is basically a new company, and it completed its acquisition of the former WarnerMedia earlier this month. But the results released Tuesday do not include the operations of WarnerMedia, which was previously disclosed by the unit’s former owner, AT&T. The company also declined to provide details on the number of streaming subscriptions to the Discovery+ live stream.

Net income in the first quarter rose to $456 million, compared to $140 million in the same period last year.

In a statement, David Zaslav, the company’s CEO, tried to shed light on the merged company’s future, rather than its recent past. The executives devised a strategy whereby it offers a broad streaming option consisting of assets from across its portfolio, which includes both Discovery+ and HBO Max. Last week, the company abruptly shut down operations of CNN+, Warner’s CNN’s new subscription broadcast offering, suggesting that executives felt a stand-alone news product would hinder its broader broadcast strategy.

“Together we put the strategic framework and organization together to lead our balanced approach to growing our business and maximizing the value of our storytelling, news and sports,” Zaslav said in the statement. To do this, we have assembled a strong leadership team into a streamlined structure to promote better leadership, control, and strategic clarity across the entire company. I couldn’t be more excited about the huge opportunity ahead.”

Discovery’s assets saw revenue increase 13%, to approximately $3.16 billion, compared to approximately $2.8 billion in the same period last year. Warner Bros. indicated. Discovery reports a 7% increase in revenue from its US networks, powered by advertising from digital and mobile operations, as well as an 11% increase in distribution, fueled by growth in Discovery+ for its results. Meanwhile, international revenue grew 25%, buoyed in part by advertising revenue from broadcasting the Winter Olympics abroad on Eurosport, Discovery Sports’ European operations.

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