Posted in: HBO, Preview, streaming, TV | Tagged: , , , ,

WBD Zaslav: More Cuts, JKR/"Harry Potter"; New Streamer, DCU & More

Warner Bros. Discovery's quarterly earnings calls are like Disney's quarterly earnings calls for masochists. And I can't really say that today's Q3 call with WBD head David Zaslav did a whole helluva lot to change that perception. While there are were a whole crapload of numbers and figures being thrown around, we tried cutting through all of it to get to the highlights/lowlight you would want to know about. Topics covered include the new streaming service arriving early, $500M more in cuts on the way, some harsh words about content that was canceled or removed, an emphasis on franchises like "LOTD" & the DCU, and an open invite to J.K. Rowling to discuss more "Harry Potter" films. Here are the highlights:

Image: Warner Bros. Discovery Screencap

Coming Spring 2023: WBD's New Combined HBO Max/Discovery+ Service: "We expect a healthy inflection with the launch of our combined service and expanded global footprint. With that, we are excited to announce that we have moved up our U.S. launch date from [the] summer of 2023 to spring. We've been very hard at work. We can make the service available to consumers around the globe and get the business running on all cylinders." After launching in the U.S., Latin America will follow, and then European markets in 2024.

$500M More in Cuts Are Coming: Zaslav confirmed that WBD's plan to cut $3B in costs over the next three years has been adjusted, with the cost-cutting goal upped by $500M (now set at $3.5B).

Zaslav Appreciates James Gunn & Peter Safran's "Passion Project" DCU Approach: Zaslav said that the DC Studios co-heads view their new positions as "a passion project, not just a job" and that the duo shares a "powerful vision and blueprint that will drive a more unified and creative approach."

Zaslav Doubled Down on Decisions to Cancel/Remove Content: "We didn't take one show off a platform that would help us in any way," he said, adding that they want to "replace those shows with content that has a chance to be more successful, and have a larger audience."

Franchises! Franchises! Franchises! From "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" to the DC universe, Zaslave has been pushing since he first took over just how much more WBD needs to get the most of their franchise IPs. "We're going to focus on franchises. We haven't had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven't done a Harry Potter in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits for Warner Bros. … over the past 25 years," Zaslav stated during the call.

Message to J.K. Rowling: WBD's Willing to Work with You: Despite accusations of transphobia as well as previously rumored tensions between the author and the multimedia company, Zaslav didn't mince words during the earnings call any more than he has since he took over. "If we can do something with J.K. [Rowling] on Harry Potter going forward," Zaslav says they're more than open to it. 

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!

Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
Comments will load 20 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.